Old people don’t think slower than young people

It is often joked that brain performance declines slowly even in middle-aged young adults. Then she says: You descend from 30.

searching for Micha von Krause and other scientists at the Psychological Institute of the University of Heidelberg Paints a different picture: Your current study refutes previous findings.

Extensive results study They show that cognitive abilities rarely change between the ages of 20 and 60. Decisions are made more consciously in old age – and therefore require more time. According to the study, this has nothing to do with mental fitness, but with extreme caution in old age.

Mentally fit and constantly active from the age of 20 to 60

Previous results measure reaction time: in fact, it was the shortest in 20 years and only slowed with age. This may explain why older people performed worse than younger people in previous studies, given that such studies also looked at how quickly a particular response button was pressed.

In the current research, the scientists processed a large data set of 1.2 million participants in a mathematical model. To do this, they invited test subjects between the ages of 10 and 80 to assign pictures and words on the screen to specific categories. Here it was found that older test subjects took longer and weighed processes that were not relevant to the decision than younger participants – this was especially noticeable when the answer button was pressed. In any case, the longer response times were due to more caution in decision-making.

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