How the aging brain can affect your finances


Aging brain © Fotolia.com

Anterior Insula

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that up to 80% of financial scam victims are over the age of 65. That’s a huge percentage. A new study by social neuroscientists at the University of California, Los Angeles, published last year in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that decreased activation in an area of the brain called the anterior insula may be one reason why the aging are so susceptible to swindles. The anterior insula is the seat of our so-called “gut instinct.” It is usually activated in response to suspicious situations and characters, warning us away from danger. But in the elderly, this area is no longer activated in response to untrustworthy faces, which makes them more vulnerable to financial schemers out to take their savings.