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For the elderly to prevent fumbling, move closer to object

July 17, 2013 at 4:24 PM   |   Comments

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MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich., July 17 (UPI) -- By watching how younger and older people handled simple tasks involving hand movements, a U.S. researcher explains why older people fumble.

Emily Bloesch, now at Central Michigan University, but who conducted the study at Washington University of St. Louis, said younger people set a reference frame about where something is by noticing objects in the path to it, such as a coffee table in front of the sofa. However, older people tend instead to judge where something is in relation to their bodies.

"If your reference frame is centered on your body, then moving your body closer to the things that you want to reach for should improve your understanding of exactly where those objects are," Bloesch said in a statement.

The study was published in the journal Psychological Science.

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