For the Old, Less Sense of Whom to Trust

The New York Times:

There’s a reason so many older people fall for financial scams, new research suggests. They don’t respond as readily to visual cues that suggest a person might be untrustworthy, and their brains don’t send out as many warning signals that ignite a danger-ahead gut response.

The research, published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first to show that older adults’ vulnerability to fraud may be rooted in age-related neurological changes.

Specifically, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, found that an area in the brain known as the anterior insula was muted when older people looked at photographs of suspicious-looking individuals. This part of the brain activates gut-level feelings that help individuals interpret the reliability of other people and assess potential risks and rewards associated with social interactions.

Read the whole story: The New York Times

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