Older Brains Are Slower —but Smarter

Wealth of knowledge, not weakness slows things down
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2014 2:11 AM CST
The moves may take longer, but don't bet against him winning.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – When elderly people seem slow or forgetful, it's not because their brains are weaker, but because they have so much knowledge stored up, according to new research. A team using computer models found that measures used to test cognitive decline are flawed and that the wealth of information to process causes things to slow down as the mind's database grows, reports Science Daily. "The human brain works slower in old age," the lead researcher says, "but only because we have stored more information over time."

"Imagine someone who knows two people’s birthdays and can recall them almost perfectly," the lead researcher tells the Telegraph. "Would you really want to say that person has a better memory than a person who knows the birthdays of 2,000 people, but can 'only' match the right person to the right birthday nine times out of 10?" (Read more aging stories.)

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