By Ernest Furchtgott

I first met Ernest Furchtgott twenty-five years in the past after becoming a member of the school 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 means of the South Carolina fee on better schooling. For two decades we group­ taught our graduate-level path, "Psychosocial methods to Geron­ tology," concerning colleagues from comparable disciplines. through the years, we tested and together graded 1000's of study posters ready via our graduate scholars in gerontology as their ultimate direction requirement. a number of 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 part of our interdisciplinary direction. On campus approximately each day because retirement, Ernie often telephoned to debate are­ cent article within the Gerontologist or a paper presentation that had ex­ pointed out him on the Gerontological Society's annual medical assembly. He maintained a transparent presence within the educational community.

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But as Dement et al. " Difficulties associated with the definition of normal aging have been noted previously. This is especially the case with sleep, since Bliwise (1993) has noted that several common sleep changes occur at a chronologically much earlier age than do many other physiological functions. Also, as is true of other aging phenomena, expectations of changes may affect many self-reports of sleep. 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.

While there has been much research in nonapplied gerontological psychology, research on motivation has lagged. Until recently, most of the research emphasis both in the United States and in other countries has been on the problems faced by disabled older persons, rather than an analysis of aging in normal, "healthy" individuals. At the same time, it is necessary to remember that there is a continuum between normal healthy aging and pathological changes (Birren & Schroots, 1996). Similarly, there is a continuum between elderly who are living independently and those who are institutionalized.

Finally, it is important to note that older individuals experience a variety of health problems, and they may also receive drugs and other therapies, many of which affect the immune system. Simultaneously, the illness and/or its treatment may produce a depression, making it difficult to determine causality in the changes of immune functions in many older individuals. In one of the few studies comparing young and old participants' responses during a laboratory-induced stress, Naliboff et al. (1991) found no age effects asociated with the performance of arithmetic problems in several immunological indices, except for a decrement in NK cell reactivity in the older individuals.

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