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    New Study on Old Brains Challenges Beliefs About Declining Abilities

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Linguistic researcher Michael Ramscar posits that older people aren’t less adept at recall, they just have more information to sift through.

    When, at the age of 45, linguistics researcher Michael Ramscar read that he’d hit the age that marks the beginning of cognitive decline he was stunned – and skeptical.

    After reading on and discovering his age also marked the point at which people being to lose command over their stored vocabulary, he decided to look into the matter himself.

    Ramscar has since published his own paper in which he posits that older people aren’t less adept at recall, they just have more information to sift through, hence the perceived slowing down of function.

    His research involved using computers that mimicked human brain functions like learning and information processing.

    When the tasks were light and limited, they powered through the tests with the agility of a young mind.

    Piling on more information and tasking them with more complex assignments created a performance slowdown, but the job still got done.

    To put the research into a real-world context, Ramscar asked which person is more capable – the one who can remember 90 percent of 2000 birthdays, or the one who can perfectly recall the only 2 they know.