Can Your Brain Get Better with Age?
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist Byron J. Richards,
Listen to Byron's RecapThis Week's Health Podcast >
Here is a study that is encouraging to all of us who are racking up the years. What older brains lack in speed they may be able to make up for in experience, enabling an equivalent ability to perform mental tasks.
“The older brain has experience and knows that nothing is gained by jumping the gun. It was already known that aging is not necessarily associated with a significant loss in cognitive function. When it comes to certain tasks, the brains of older adults can achieve very close to the same performance as those of younger ones,” explained Dr. Oury Monchi of the University of Montreal. “We now have neurobiological evidence showing that with age comes wisdom and that as the brain gets older, it learns to better allocate its resources. Overall, our study shows that Aesop’s fable about the tortoise and the hare was right on the money: being able to run fast does not always win the race—you must know how to best use your abilities. This adage is a defining characteristic of aging.”
“Funny enough, the young brain is more reactive to negative reinforcement than the older one. When the young participants made a mistake and had to plan and execute a new strategy to get the right answer, various parts of their brains were recruited even before the next task began. However, when the older participants learned that they had made a mistake, these regions were only recruited at the beginning of the next trial, indicating that with age, we decide to make adjustments only when absolutely necessary. It is as though the older brain is more impervious to criticism and more confident than the young brain,” stated Dr. Monchi.
Well there you have it. Aging isn’t all bad.
More Health News
Loading content...View All Health News Archives
Popular Related News:
About Wellness Resources: