Previous research has shown a positivity bias in older people who seem to be able to control how much attention they give to negative situations and are less upset by them. A study by researchers at Duke University, in the U.S., asked groups of older and younger participants to rate the emotional content of standardized images as positive, neutral or negative while their brain was monitored with an MRI machine. The older participants rated the images as less negative than the younger ones and had increased interaction between the amygdala - a part of the brain which is involved with emotions - and the anterior cingulate cortex, a brain region involved in emotional control. The researchers hope that an understanding of the positivity bias of older people can help with treatments for anxiety and depression.
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