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 thinking.




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