Can an old dog learn new tricks?
If you are like me and most other people you will believe that as we get older and more frail soo does our brain. Hence a major rush on brain activities to try and ward of any dementias!
Well having watched National Geographics’ Brain Games I now know better. Phew what a relief!
Here’s one of their quick brain checks … See how quickly you can work it out.
So how did you do? Again I was hopeless! but I’m not disillusioned because researchers have discovered that while younger brains may perform better at some things, our minds are remarkably resilient, and that we actually get better at certain cognitive abilities as we get older and that to a surprising degree, our brains are able to adjust to ageing and find ways to compensate for what we don’t do so well and I can even slow down the clock.
In a 2011 Nature article, researchers from Scotland’s Roslin Institute reported that brain cells—unlike the rest of your body–contain special genes called retrotransposons, which continually make tiny alterations in the DNA in our brain’s tissues. As a result, brain cells change thousands of times in the course of our lifetime.
While it’s true that some of our brain’s abilities decrease with age, in recent years neuroscientists have discovered that other abilities are unaffected, and some actually even improve as we get older:
- Our vocabulary and social intelligence keeps expanding
- We get better at sizing up people,
- We get better at understanding how relationships work
- And experience counts for something
Thank heavens it’s worth something! It seems as we get older we have amass tons of information about the world in our brains and we are more adept at utilizing that knowledge to solve problems than a younger brain!
And the best news is that with enough training, older adults can speed up their response time at decision-making tasks, to the point where 70-year-olds can perform as well as 25-year-olds.
Ooh I’ll sleep easier tonight knowing that!
Do their Brain Challenge … I was hopeless so I cheated!
Source: Go have some fun here: http://braingames.nationalgeographic.com/