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An EEG study examining how ageing influences false-belief reasoning abilities.

Bradford, Elisabeth E.F., Brunsdon, Victoria E.A., Ferguson, Heather J. (2017) An EEG study examining how ageing influences false-belief reasoning abilities. In: British Neuroscience Association (BNA), 10-13th April 2017, Birmingham, UK. (Unpublished) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:62416)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)

Abstract

The ability to understand other people’s mental states – beliefs, desires, knowledge – plays a key role in everyday life, allowing individuals to engage in successful interactions and to communicate successfully. It has previously been shown that social-cognitive abilities such as these can decline with age, even in healthy individuals. The research presented here assessed potential differences in the neural basis of social-cognition abilities across the lifespan, exploring whether differentiations in belief-processing continue across the lifespan, or whether differentiations are reduced as social-cognitive abilities decline with healthy ageing. EEG measures were taken whilst participants (aged 18 – 80+ years) listened to a series of short stories in which a character held a true or false belief about the location of an object. The character was then described as acting in a manner consistent or inconsistent with this belief-state (i.e. the location they looked in for an object). Analysis using event-related potentials demonstrated that for both younger and older adults, there was a significant difference in how true and false-belief states were processed, with a significant role of belief-consistent versus belief-inconsistent actions of the character. When the character was in possession of a false-belief, belief-consistent outcomes led to a more negative-going N400 component than belief-inconsistent outcomes. Whilst following similar patterns, these distinctions were more pronounced in the older adult group than the younger adult group. Results indicate potential differences in the processes underlying belief-state reasoning across the lifespan.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Poster)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Lizzie Bradford
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2017 15:15 UTC
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2020 04:13 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/62416 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Bradford, Elisabeth E.F.: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7647-0891
Ferguson, Heather J.: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1575-4820
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