I Am Not Having A Senior Moment

My brain is just cluttered.

To Your HealthGlenn Reynolds cites The NYT about why I struggle to remember the names of people I worked with just three and a half years ago. Could the fact that I’ve had positions at three other companies since then have something to do with it???

When older people can no longer remember names at a cocktail party, they tend to think that their brainpower is declining. But a growing number of studies suggest that this assumption is often wrong.

Instead, the research finds, the aging brain is simply taking in more data and trying to sift through a clutter of information, often to its long-term benefit.

Me likey this idea.

[I]n studies where subjects are asked to read passages that are interrupted with unexpected words or phrases, adults 60 and older work much more slowly than college students. Although the students plow through the texts at a consistent speed regardless of what the out-of-place words mean, older people slow down even more when the words are related to the topic at hand. That indicates that they are not just stumbling over the extra information, but are taking it in and processing it.

When both groups were later asked questions for which the out-of-place words might be answers, the older adults responded much better than the students.

“For the young people, it’s as if the distraction never happened,” said an author of the review, Lynn Hasher, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto and a senior scientist at the Rotman Research Institute. “But for older adults, because they’ve retained all this extra data, they’re now suddenly the better problem solvers. They can transfer the information they’ve soaked up from one situation to another.”

See? See? I’m not getting older – I’m getting better! And double for the AstroWife. Just ask us, we’ll tell you!

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2 Comments on “I Am Not Having A Senior Moment”

  1. Becky Says:

    I used to be able to skim over the words in books and articles. Now I bog down in thought and sideways contemplation every page, or so it seems.

    It takes me forever to read most books now, and half the time I forget what i had read in the beginning, although something may ring a bell. I drive myself crazy with this new habit…but I keep right on doing it!

  2. joe Says:

    Becky – Many decades ago I took one of those “Speed Reading” courses. The very first thing that they mentioned was exactly what you described – going back over what you just read again and again. They contended that it’s a mere habit that most people develop.

    So that’s sort of normal (and no memory drugs for you!)! The fact that you didn’t do that before means that you’re ahead of the game, and probably a superior being. Goes right along with reading my blog ;>
    j


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