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The Surprising Strengths Of The Middle-Aged Brain

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posted on May, 22 2010 @ 11:14 AM

The Surprising Strengths Of The Middle-Aged Brain

And what the researchers found is astounding. During the span of time that constitutes the modern middle age — roughly age forty through the sixties — the people in the study did better on tests of the most important and complex cognitive skills than the same group of people had when they were in their twenties. In four out of six of the categories tested — vocabulary, verbal memory, spatial orientation, and, perhaps most heartening of all, inductive reasoning — people performed best, on average
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on May, 22 2010 @ 11:14 AM
Thought this would be a fun topic for a change. I read this originally about a weak ago. I am surprised this hasn't gotten more buzz. The search on ATS did turn up and advertisement for the book on which the article is based, The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain. by Barbara Strauch.

Maybe the idea of the wise old man, or wise old woman isn't just an ancient myth. All my life it seems that idea that we loose it as we get older, massive die off of brains cells and all that, has been pounded into me. Apparently, this isn't the reality.

Ah, but apparently this isn't true.

3. The brain does not lose millions of brain cells. For years, researchers thought our brains lost up to 30 percent of their neurons as we got older. That idea led science to largely ignore the brain as it aged. Why waste time researching something that was going to decay on a set schedule? Now, new studies show that while we can lose brain connections if they are unused, we keep most of our brain cells for as long as we live. This means that the quest to find real ways to maintain our brain cells is now being taken up in earnest.

Being that I just began my fiftieth year of life, I celebrate such news.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on May, 22 2010 @ 11:42 AM
Considering all the forty and fifty somethings on the site, I am surprised more people aren't interested in this topic.

Could it be that all this time that they have been telling us how we are destined to loose all these brain cells starting in our forties they were wrong?

All these commercials about depression, urging people to get on anti-depressants, and the truth is that we are more likely to be happy in our middle age.

Who benefits from the promotion of the idea that we begin to seriously diminish in our forties?

posted on May, 22 2010 @ 11:44 AM
Good threads and posts deserve Stars and Flags

and yours is a good thread

with good posts

great topic

posted on May, 22 2010 @ 11:51 AM
So a middle aged woman wrote a book about how middle aged people are smarter than younger people... how is she different from the old guy sitting on his porch waving his cane at the kids on his lawn

Probably 70% of the engineers I work with are verging on retirement, based on them, she has no idea what she's talking about hahaha. They absolutely despise change and learning new things where as new guys will learn circles around them with their eyes closed... while eating a sandwich. I just don't believe this for a millisecond, sorry.

posted on May, 22 2010 @ 12:10 PM
reply to post by ZombieOctopus

I guess you didn't bother to follow the links, and read the article.

It is based on a long term study that shows that people in the study group are scoring higher in their 40ties and 50ties than they did in their 20ties.

This is good news for young as well as old. You will be surprised at how fast twenty years go by.

Young people might learn faster, but they aren't as good at problem solving.

posted on May, 22 2010 @ 12:11 PM
reply to post by ZombieOctopus

You just proved the OPs point perfectly, the older you get the more you realise what life is really about. Work is just a way to pay your way, older people know this so develop a more relaxed attitude to work. The younger man still has to prove his worth to himself and others so enjoys the chance to jump through all the extra hoops an employer likes to put on the working man....

posted on May, 22 2010 @ 12:12 PM
reply to post by Dock9

Thanks Dock, I though this could be a fun thread.

How could anyone not consider it to be good news that they can live a good life well into their sixties and beyond.

posted on May, 22 2010 @ 12:23 PM
reply to post by strangleholder1

Ok, why not, I guess being old and lazy has it's advantages.

And yes, I did read it, problem solving is part of learning though, maybe they don't get into that at the retirement home!

posted on May, 22 2010 @ 12:32 PM
reply to post by ZombieOctopus

Actually, problem solving is taking what you have learned, and putting it to use.

Research is in part learning, but knowing what to research is what is most important.

Sounds like you are in a hurry to get to the old folks home.

posted on May, 22 2010 @ 12:48 PM
I am 35 and care not for this report.

Most people in society do not have critical thinking.

posted on May, 22 2010 @ 01:18 PM
This doesn’t surprise me at all. All of the four categories listed: vocabulary, verbal memory, spatial orientation, and inductive reasoning are dependent on experience. The only way to gain experience is through time. The older one gets, the more experienced one becomes, thereby more efficiently accomplishing these mental functions.

posted on May, 22 2010 @ 11:03 PM
reply to post by poet1b

Good thread poet, it's nice and breezy,S&F!!

While this is good news for people like us, I'm 45, it can also be a bit disheartening.

You see, I always thought I was smart because I worked at it most of my life. But as it turns out, I'm only smart because I'm SUPPOSED to be?



posted on May, 29 2010 @ 04:38 PM
Something I am surprised that no one has mentioned or brought up, is to consider that possibly participation on ATS is good for maturing brains.

I learn a great many new things on this site, when not from the contributions of others, than from the research to either support or debunk a proposition put forth on a thread.

If anything, I think the debates we engage in help a great deal in working the analytical part of our brains.

We just need to remember to get out of the house and get some exercise, which is what I should go do now.

posted on May, 29 2010 @ 05:07 PM
Full Disclosure: I didn't read the article or the study...

The findings as posted in this thread are not surprising to me
since I believe I embody the truth of the statements.
However, I've always ascribed it to the fact that I am an avid reader of a broad array of topics, an early adopter of technology, and [at least somewhat] open to opinions not my own. Not because of my demographic.

Seriously, I think that the demographic stated is a "special" group. We've had to adopt and master technologies since we've reached majority. We were not established enough to be carried by our existing [old paradigm] knowledge and positions and we were not born into a world where the technologies were already well established and implemented with extant expertise to draw upon or look to. It strongly suggests to me that the demographic I belong to has had to be more mentally dexterous.

Culture Shock has been such a part of our lives that it is not a shock at all for most of us... just a flavor of "Same old stuff"... life is fluid. Or, said another way: The only constant is change.

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