Good News! We Don’t Lose Our Memories As We Age

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According to research reported in the Journal Topics in Cognitive Sciencewe don’t lose our ability to process memories, learn or engage intellectually as we age. In fact, the reason we believe we are losing our mental capabilities is the fact that we compare our ability to process information to those of our younger counterparts.

When they can recall a fact, remember a name or identify a problem much more quickly than we can, we tend to believe that there is limited functioning. Not so, says r. Michael Ramscar of Tübingen University who facilitated the research. Ramscar shares,  “The human brain works slower in old age,” says Ramscar, “but only because we have stored more information over time.”

So this means your brain, when compared to a computer, has so much data in it that it takes a while to comb through that data to access memories, facts or recall names of individuals. Younger adults or children have only a portion of the experiences that you’ve had so their processor is much faster.

It’s not a question of which is better because the answer is simple. The older we become, the more expansive our library of knowledge and experiences and it just takes a while to sort through the card catologue to find what we want. So tell those know-it-all youngsters who think they have all the answers to sit down; they’re operating on megabytes while you’re packing an expansive stack of gigs.

 

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