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Chapter 28 - Emotion and Aging

Linking Neural Mechanisms to Psychological Theory

from Section VII - Individual Differences in Emotion

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 February 2013

Jorge Armony
Affiliation:
McGill University, Montréal
Patrik Vuilleumier
Affiliation:
Université de Genève
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Summary

This chapter reviews the main findings of functional neuroimaging studies and links them to theories regarding aging effects on emotional processing. It summarizes evidence for two cognitive neuroscience accounts of preserved emotional processing in old age: anatomical preservation and functional compensation. The chapter reviews behavioral and functional neuroimaging studies on the effects of aging in the domains of emotional perception, emotional memory, emotional decision making, and emotion regulation. Despite different paradigms and stimuli, these studies show a consistent pattern whereby aging is associated with an increase in frontal activity that is sometimes coupled with decreases in amygdalar responses to negative stimuli. This pattern is called the frontoamygdalar age-related differences in emotion (FADE). Finally, the chapter considers how functional neuroimaging findings fit with psychological theories of age-related emotional changes: the socioemotional selectivity theory (SST), dynamic integration theory (DIT), learning and practice theory, and the byproduct of biological decline theory.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2013

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