While aging is associated with clear declines in physical and cognitive processes, emotional functioning fares relatively well. Consistent with this behavioral profile, two core emotional brain regions, the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex, show little structural and functional decline in aging, compared with other regions. However, emotional processes depend on interacting systems of neurotransmitters and brain regions that go beyond these structures. This review examines how age-related brain changes influence processes such as attending to and remembering emotional stimuli, regulating emotion, recognizing emotional expressions, empathy, risk taking, impulsivity, behavior change and attentional focus.
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