Live Long and Master Aging podcast

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Sarah Barber

Exposing the myths behind memory slips as we age

Senior moments and the aging process go hand in hand. As we grow older memory lapses and cognitive problems are often assumed to be the normal course of events. But should we really worry about losing the car keys, now and then? The biological and psychological explanations for declining cognitive performance are many and varied, but Dr. Sarah Barber, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at San Francisco State University, says memory slips are not always signs of worse to come. Dr. Barber’s work at the University’s Cognition and Aging Laboratory explores how emotional wellbeing and social factors affect our ability to process information. In this in-depth interview she argues that memory and attention spans in older people actually improve when they are in a positive environment; and explains why being aware of the passage of time influences how we do with memory tasks.

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