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40 Cards in this Set

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Define young old, old old, and oldest old.
people between ages 65 and 74 as the young old, those over 75 as the old old, and those over 85 as the oldest old.
Define primary aging.
Gradual, inevitable process of bodily deterioration throughout the life span.
Define secondary aging.
Aging processes that result from disease and bodily abuse and disuse and are often preventable.
Define functional age.
Measure of a person's ability to function effectively in his or her physical and social environment in comparison with others of the same chronological age.
Define life expectancy.
Age to which a person in a particular cohort is statistically likely to live(given his/her current age and health status), on the basis of average longevity of a population.
Describe life expectancy trends.
Life expectancy has increased dramatically. The longer people live, the longer they are likely to live.
In general, life expectancy is greater in developed countries than in developing countries, among white Americans than among African Americans, and among women as compared to men.
Recent gains in life expectancy come largely from progress toward reducing death rates from diseases affecting older people. Further large improvements in life expectancy may depend on whether scientists can learn to modify basic processes of aging.
Define longevity and life span.
length of an individual's life.
the longest period that members of a species can live.
Define senescence.
Period of the life span marked by changes in physical functioning sometimes associated with aging; begins at different ages for different people.
Define genetic-programming theories.
Theories that explain biological aging as resulting from a genetically determined developmental timetable.
Define Hayflick limit.
Genetically controlled limit, proposed by Hayflick, on the number of times cells can divide in members of a species.
Give examples of genetic-programming theories.
programmed senescence: specific genes shutting off before age related losses become evident.
endocrine theory: biological clocks act through hormones to control the pace of aging
immunological theory: programmed decline in immune system functions leads to increased vulnerability to infectious disease and thus to aging and death.
Give examples of variable-rate theories.
Wear and tear theory: cells and tissues have vital parts that wear out.
Free-radical theory: Accumulated damage from oxygen radicals causes cells and eventually organs to stop functioning.
rate-of-living theory: the greater an organism's rate of metabolism, the shorter its life span.
autoimmune theory: immune system becomes confused and attacks its own body cells.
Define variable-rate theories.
Theories that explain biological aging as a result of processes that vary from person to person and are influenced by both the internal and external environment; sometimes called error theories.
Define free radicals.
Unstable, highly reactive atoms or molecules, formed during metabolism, which can cause internal bodily damage.
Define survival curves.
Curves, plotted on a graph, showing percentages of a population that survive at each age level.
Can the life span be extended?
Research on extension of the life span through genetic manipulation or caloric restriction has challenged the idea of a biological limit to the life span.
Define reserve capacity.
Ability of body organs and systems to put forth 4-10 times as much effort as usual under stress; also called organ reserve.
What are the physical changes in aging?
the heart becomes more susceptible to disease. Reserve capacity declines.
Although the brain changes with age, the changes are usually modest. They include loss or shrinkage of nerve cells and a general slowing of responses. However, the brain also seems able to grow new neurons and build new connections late in life.
Visual and hearing problems may interfere with daily life but often can be corrected. Irreversible damage may result from age-related macular degeneration or glaucoma. Losses in taste and smell may lead to poor nutrition. Training can improve muscular strength, balance, and reaction time. Older adults tend to be susceptible to accidents and falls.
Many older people are sexually active, though the frequency and intensity of sexual experience are generally lower than for younger adults.
Define age-related macular degeneration.
Condition in which the center of the retina gradually loses its ability to discern fine details. Leading cause of irreversible visual impairment in older adults.
Define glaucoma.
Irreversible damage to the optic nerve cause by increased pressure in the eye.
Define presbycusis.
age-related reduction in the ability to hear high-pitched sounds.
Define and Describe Alzheimer's Disease.
Progressive, irreversible degenerative brain disorder characterized by cognitive deterioration and loss of control of bodily functions, leading to death.

Alzheimer's disease becomes more prevalent with age. It is highly heritable, but diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors may play a part. Behavioral and drug therapies can slow deterioration. Mild cognitive impairment can be an early sign of the disease, and researchers are attempting to develop tools for early diagnosis.
Define dementia.
Deterioration in cognitive and behavioral functioning due to physiological causes.
Define Parkinson's Disease.
Progressive, irreversible degenerative neurological disorder, characterized by tremor, stiffness, slowed movement, and unstable posture.
Define neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaque.
Twisted masses of protein fibers and waxy chunks of insoluble tissue found in brains of persons with Alzheimer's Disease.
What gains and losses tend to occur in cognitive functioning in late adulthood?
Physical and psychological factors that influence older people's performance on intelligence tests may lead to underestimation of their intelligence. Cross-sectional research showing declines in intelligence may reflect cohort differences.
Measures of fluid and crystallized intelligence show a more encouraging pattern, with crystallized abilities increasing into old age.
In Baltes' dual-process model, the mechanics of intelligence often decline, but the pragmatics of intelligence may continue to grow.
A general slowdown in central nervous system functioning may affect the speed of information processing. However, this slowdown may be limited to certain processing tasks and may vary among individuals.
Describe cognitive function in late adulthood.
The Seattle Longitudinal Study found that cognitive functioning in late adulthood is highly variable. Few people decline in all or most areas, and many people improve in some. The engagement hypothesis seeks to explain these differences.
Although the ability to perform instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) generally declines with age, ability to solve interpersonal or emotionally charged problems does not.
Older people show considerable plasticity in cognitive performance and can benefit from training.
Describe memory in late adulthood.
Some aspects of memory, such as sensory memory, semantic and procedural memory, and priming appear nearly as efficient in older adults as in younger people. Other aspects, mainly the capacity of working memory and the ability to recall specific events or recently learned information, are often less efficient.
Neurological changes, as well as declines in perceptual speed, may account for much of the decline in memory functioning in older adults. However, the brain can compensate for some age-related declines.
According to studies of metamemory, some older adults may overestimate their memory loss, perhaps because of stereotypes about aging.
Describe Baltes' findings on wisdom.
According to Baltes's studies, wisdom is not age-related, but people of all ages give wiser responses to problems affecting their own age group.
Define the WAIS.
Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale--intelligence test for adults, which yields verbal and performance scores as well as a combined score.
Define dual-process model.
Model of cognitive functioning proposed by Baltes, which identifies and seeks to measure two dimensions of intelligence: mechanics and pragmatics.
Define mechanics of intelligence.
the abilities to process information and solve problems, irrespective of content; the area of cognition in which there is often an age-related decline.
Define pragmatics of intelligence.
dimension of intelligence that tends to grow with age and includes practical thinking, application of accumulated knowledge and skills, specialized expertise, professional productivity, and wisdom.
Define selective optimization with compensation.
strategy for maintaining or enhancing overall cognitive functioning by using stronger abilities to compensate for those that have weakened.
Define engagement hypothesis.
proposal that an active, engaged lifestyle that challenges cognitive skills predicts retention or growth of those skills in later life.
Define instrumental activities of daily living.
everyday activities, competence in which is considered a measure of teh ability to live independently: managing finances, shopping for necessities, using the telephone, obtaining transportation,preparing meals, taking medication, and housekeeping.
Define sensory, working, and episodic memory.
initial, brief, temporary storage of sensory information.
short-term storage of information being actively processed.
long-term memory of specific experiences or events, linked to time and place.
Define semantic and procedural memory.
long-term memory of general factual knowledge, social customs, and language.
long-term memory of motor skills, habits, and ways of doing things, which often can be recalled without conscious efort; sometimes called implicit memory.
Define priming.
Increase in ease of doing a task or remembering information as a result of a previous encounter with the task or information.
Define Metamemory in Adulthood.
Questionnaire designed to measure various aspects of adults' metamemory, including beliefs about their own memory and the selection and use of strategies for remembering.