Using bio-sensors to look at brain activity, the researchers saw that older participants (60 years and up) wandered into a brief "mental time travel" when trying to recall details. This journey into their subconscious veered them into a cluttered space that was filled with both relevant and irrelevant information. Some of what they are told to ignore gets stuck in their minds. This clutter led to less confidence, even when their recollections were correct.
Cluttering of the brain is one reason older people are more susceptible to manipulation said lead researcher at Georgia Institute of Technology in the US.
The findings appear online in the Journal Neuropsychologia