Whether we choose to accept or fight it, the fact is that we will all age, but will we do so successfully? Ageing successfully has been linked with the "positivity effect", a biased tendency towards and preference for positive, emotionally gratifying experiences. New research published in Biological Psychiatry now explains how and when this effect works in the brain.
"Integrating our findings with the assumptions of life span theories we suggest that motivational goal-shifting in healthy ageing leads to a self-regulated engagement in positive emotions even when this is not required by the setting," explained author Dr Stefanie Brassen. "In addition, our finding of a relationship between rostral anterior cingulate cortex activity and emotional stability further strengthens the hypothesis that this increased emotional control in ageing enhances emotional wellbeing."