The following article was taken from the Magazine of Massachusetts
General Hospital, May, 2006, and was reprinted in the September 2006 issue
of the Academy for Lifelong Learning Newsletter on Cape Cod in Massachusetts,
thanks to Dan Asher.
Your cognitive skills and your ability to analyze all aspects of a
problem may be better over time as you grow older.
Research suggests that the ability to make connections among brain
cells – a key component of intelligence – actually grows
stronger as we age.
Older people have a greater body of experience and factual knowledge
at their disposal. They can juggle more facts and see things from a
broader perspective than younger people. For this reason they often
are better able to recognize patterns: they may find it easier to relate
a new problem to something they have already experienced and come up
with the appropriate solution, They excel at synthesizing information.
These skills make them better at solving problems, at integrating foreign
concepts and at devising creative approaches to tasks.
In addition, age may bring qualities such as patience, persistence
and staying composed in a crisis – all of which make for clearer