Emotion Regulation and Aging: What I used to think, what I think now, and why (Derek Isaacowitz)

For basically my whole career, I have been interested in trying to understand the mechanisms underlying older adults’ generally positive affective experience. Based on socioemotional selectivity theory, I spent a number of years investigating age-related positivity effects in attention, and whether these may play a role in older adults’ affective success. This then led to a wider investigation of emotion regulation strategies, including attentional deployment, that may vary by age. While our early work supported the age differences narrative, and sometimes the “older people are better” narrative, our more recent work has found much more similarity than differences among age groups in emotion regulation behavior, both in the lab and in everyday life. I will consider the implications of these findings for my own research trajectory as well as for the field in general.

How Older Adults Remember Emotional Events (Elizabeth Kensinger)

In this talk, I will first describe some similarities in the ways that young and older adults remember emotional events. In particular, across the adult lifespan individuals show emotional memory enhancements and also emotional memory trade-offs. I will then shift to focusing on ways in which age seems to affect the way that emotional experiences are remembered. In particular, older adults often appear to remember negative events less vividly, and with an increased focus on the silver linings. The negativity of emotional events also can fade over time for older adults. I will briefly describe how an expanded model of emotional memory that incorporates the role of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex may elucidate these age-related differences.

Register for the webinar here: https://bit.ly/gran2020webinar3

Date: Friday, December 4, 2020
Time: 10:00 – 11:30 AM EST

Webinar 3: Derek Isaacowitz and Elizabeth Kensinger