Healthy Brain, Healthy Decisions: Empowering Older Adults to be Smart Decision-Makers

Thursday, September 5, 2013

10:00 AM Pacific / 11:00 AM Mountain
12:00 PM Central / 1:00 PM Eastern

Presented by MindAlert

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In partnership with the MetLife Mature Market Institute, researchers from the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas and the University of California at San Francisco will present findings from a collaborative study on decision-making. Counter to the pervasively negative view of the aging brain, this seminar will present new evidence showing age does not significantly predict better decision-making, and cognitive control was a better predictor than age on ability to make good decisions. The aging mind, as implicated by this study, may retain strategic decision-making capacity from the fifties to the eighties, given cognitive brain health. This study demonstrates the ability of an older, healthy brain not only to make good decisions, but also to retain robust cognitive performance. Ultimately, efforts to elucidate the potential of the aging mind to maintain and improve sound decision-making capacity will have broad public health benefits to mitigate disadvantageous financial decisions and abuse. By empowering older adults to engage in healthy practices to keep their cognitive skills robust, our growing population of adults in later life will have the confidence to continue to make sound decisions and keep their minds engaged throughout their lifetime.

Participants in this web seminar will be able to:

  • Fully understand new evidence that shows age is not a key factor in the ability to apply strategies to make sound decisions.
  • Describe why healthy adults have the capacity to make better, more rational decisions with increasing age.
  • Identify a good decision-maker and understand factors that can protect older adults from financial abuse.
  • Employ techniques and strategies to help older adults strengthen cognitive health and maintain decision-making autonomy.


Sandra Bond Chapman, PhD is Founder and Chief Director of the Center for BrainHealth, the Dee Wyly Distinguished University Professor at The University of Texas at Dallas and author of Make Your Brain Smarter. As a cognitive neuroscientist with more than 40 funded research grants and 200 publications, Dr. Chapman’s scientific studies elucidate novel approaches to advance higher-order thinking, strengthen healthy brain development, and repair lost cognitive performance throughout life.
Alison Perez is currently pursuing a Ph. D. in the Cognition and Neuroscience program at The University of Texas at Dallas.  She has also won the Sharon Freytag’s Fellowship Award, a fellowship for new researchers. Alison works closely with Dr. Chapman on the Healthy Brains Healthy Decisions study, focusing on effects of aging on adults, frontal lobe function and decision-making. Through her work, she is looking for ways to extend the health of aging brains and make improvements in how we think and make important life decisions.