Narrator: This is Science Today. Cognitive psychologists at the University of California , Santa Cruz have been studying how age-related changes affect the way older adults make and remember their choices in life.
Mather: We are also looking just more generally at what are factors that make emotional events memorable. So, things that are really intensely emotional get remembered more.
Narrator: Study leader, Mara Mather says the next step is to use eye-tracking techniques to look more carefully at what is the target of attention. For instance, Mather says they're looking into whether there might be an age difference in memory for gambling.
Mather: Older adults do a lot of gambling and I know from my research that there is this bias they have to remember more positive things. And gambling is set up where everybody's going to remember the wins more than the losses. So, it's already set up in a situation where you're going to be biased about what you've won or lost and if you're a little bit more on that scale, you might be more likely to go back and do again.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.