Today @ Colorado State has been replaced by SOURCE. This site exists as an archive of Today @ Colorado State stories between January 1, 2009 and September 8, 2014.

Research / Discovery

Age may bring serenity

April 9, 2009

Dr. Michael Kisley from the University of Colorado's Department of Psychology has conducted research which observes the brain's responses to negative and positive images. You may be surprised to learn the differences in the research findings for youth and adults.

Age has its advantages

Aging Research Colloquium
Monday, April 13
Noon to 1 p.m.
Lory Student Center, room 211 E 

Research into aging has established that older people (55+) have milder responses when viewing negative images than those in the 18-30 age group.

Professor Michael Kisley from the Department of Psychology, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, says, "Younger adults exhibit a 'negativity bias,' meaning that their brain responses to negative images tend to be larger compared to positive images."

Kisley says that this could mean that "as we age, our emotional priorities tend to shift away from a negative outlook to a more positive one." 

Kisley will discuss his research during Monday's Aging Research Colloquium Series lecture titled, Brain responses to emotional stimuli: Effects of age and voluntary cognitive control.

Less of a "swing" in emotional responses

The research also found that older adults had "a more balanced response profile to negative and positive images."  That means that as we age, our brain responses to emotional stimuli are more moderate or mild, whether we perceive something as negative or positive. 

If you liken the responses to the swing of a pendulum, the pendulum stays more toward the center. Follow up studies are being done to understand the reasons behind this shift. 

Who will benefit from the Aging Research Colloquium Series

The CSU community, general public, and individuals who work in professions that serve older adults and their families will benefit from hearing about the latest research work conducted at CSU and other universities in the nation at this monthly seminar series.

The Aging Research Colloquium Series (ARCS) features cutting-edge research in aging from a multidisciplinary perspective. The overall goal of ARCS is to help people gain a better understanding of the complexities of the human aging process, including the potential for well aging as well as the limitations that may be set by illness and unfavorable living conditions.

The series is organized by the Colorado State University Center on Aging in the College of Applied Human Sciences. The seminars usually fall on the second Monday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. You are welcome to bring a lunch.

Contact: Manfred Diehl
Phone: (970) 491-1767