As We Age Brainpower, Peaks in Different Ways

Research conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology analyzed the responses of more than 48,500 people who took online tests on the websites http://www.gameswithwords.org and http://www.testmybrain.org.  Researchers found the following:

On average, people think the fastest around age 18.

Short term memory peaks at around age 25.

Our ability to read’s people emotional states is generally best in our 40s and 50s.

“Crystalized Intelligence,” a measure of accumulated knowledge, doesn’t peak until people are in their late 60s or early 70s.  Remember that these results are “on average.”   There are individuals who will peak beyond these years and others who will die before they reach their potential peak.  Apparent slowness of mind is likely due to the vastly increased amount of information in memory (see the healthy memory blog post “The Myth of Cognitive Decline”). These results indicate that the older population represents a valuable resource that should not be ignored.

These results were reported in the Monitor on Psychology, May 2015, p. 23 and taken from Psychology Science, online, March 13.

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