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By Ernest Furchtgott
I first met Ernest Furchtgott twenty-five years in the past after becoming a member of the college of the varsity of Social paintings on the college of South Carolina. at the moment, Ernie chaired the dep. of Psychology. within the following 3 years we collaborated with a tutorial Committee on Gerontology in conceptualizing and shaping the University's certificates of Graduate research in Gerontology software, guiding it to ultimate approval by way of the South Carolina fee on larger schooling. For 20 years we workforce taught our graduate-level path, "Psychosocial methods to Geron tology," related to colleagues from similar disciplines. through the years, we tested and together graded hundreds and hundreds of analysis posters ready by means of our graduate scholars in gerontology as their ultimate direction requirement. numerous years in the past, Ernie officially retired from the collage. He in stantly agreed to my request that he proceed instructing the psychology of getting older component of our interdisciplinary path. On campus approximately each day in view that retirement, Ernie usually telephoned to debate are cent article within the Gerontologist or a paper presentation that had ex brought up him on the Gerontological Society's annual clinical assembly. He maintained a transparent presence within the educational community.
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It would seem, therefore, that testosterone plays only a minor role in the previously named emotional states. In women, urinary excretion of estrogens begins to show gradual declines throughout adulthood (Talbert, 1977). With the approach of the menopause, there is a dramatic decrease in these hormones as well as progesterone and androgens. While low levels of all gonadal hormones are still present even after the menopause, they are produced from nonovarian sources (Harman & Talbert, 1985). The plasma concentrations of the pituitary-produced gonadotrophin, follicle-stimulating hormone, and LH actually show large increases after the menopause, reflecting the low levels of circulating estrogens that act as a negative feedback mechanism for the secretion of gonadotrophic hormones (Talbert, 1977).
Methodology and Laboratory Findings Since a person cannot tell an observer that he or she is asleep and gross observations by others are not very reliable, we need to record some physiological indices. The three most commonly used ones are electroencephalograms (EEGs), electrooculograms (EOGs), and electromyograms, measured with a polysomnograph (PSG). , 1985). Combining EEG and EOG patterns, five stages of sleep can be identified. In the first four stages, EOGs are relatively quiescent; they are referred to as nonrapid eye movement (NREM) states, while during the fifth stage, eye movements are rapid and thus labeled the rapid eye movement (REM) period.
Rogers and Bloom (1985), in their review of this topic, noted the discrepancies in the reported experimental findings: "There is virtually no metabolic step for any of the neurotransmitter systems where at least two conflicting reports on the effect of age cannot be cited" (p. 665). They then go on to consider some of the difficulties that have led to this confusion. Among the factors, they claim, that need to be considered are (1) differences in the definition of "old"; (2) differences in the regions that were assayed; (3) interaction of various pathological changes; (4) postmortem changes, especially in most human studies where measurements of transmitters occur after death; (5) the person's prior environment, including disease history; (6) influences of manifold drug treatments; and (7) a lack of standards for comparison.
Aging and Human Motivation by Ernest Furchtgott