Are the brains of older people slow because they know so much (?!)
People may gradually decline mentally with age or… even improve it exercising it. ‘Use it or lose’ the old adage says. Losing memory may not be so. It just takes longer to recall facts, names and other information because we have accumulated more information in our brains, scientists believe. Much like a computer struggles as the hard drive gets full, so, too, do humans which take longer to access information when their brains are full or sluggish.
Furthermore, the information we have not used for long time (languages in year 11 and 12 of High School, or other) are well stored away by our brain in an almost inaccessible compartment of my memory. Sometimes we need a ‘little help’ from a friend that tells us an old story; or listen to a particular song of yesteryear; or see a ‘family picture’ which will jog our memories of that particular event and all of the sudden the doors of that little compartment are like a dike flooding our ‘hard and soft disk’ of revival.
Nevertheless, the information we use daily or weekly is almost always available to our memory retreival and the meanings of it. Eg. the computer commands that if we do not use within 3 or 6 months we forget what they are for.
Researchers say this slowing down process is not the same as cognitive decline.The human brain works slower in old age, said Dr. Michael Ramscar from the University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.