‘Cross-talk’ in the Brain Slows Responses in Old Age

New research suggests that breakdowns in certain brain connections could be responsible for slowed physical reaction times as we age.

Commonly known is that one side of the brain controls the opposite side of the body. Researchers call this äóìCross-talk.” This is regulated by an area of the brain called the corpus callosum, according to researchers at the University of Michigan. But as we age, the brain’s ability to regulate the cross-talk diminishes. As a result, both sides of the brain send signals when one side of the body moves.

Researchers compared the response times and brain activity of a group of 65 to 75-year-olds with those of a group of 20 to 25-year-olds. The researchers used computer joysticks to measure physical response times, and functional MRIs to measure brain blood flow and activity. As regulation of the cross-talk lessened and both sides began chatting at once, physical response time slowed, according to the report.ξ

Full implications of the discovery were not known but give researchers another springboard from which to study aging, the brain and behavior. The study appears in a recent edition of the journal Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience.

Heck I don’t need my brain to cross-talk to me. I do a good enough job of that myself. And what do they call texting while driving? I call that cross talk to and it slows responses just as effectively as an aging brain!