Skip to comments.Brains of elderly slow because they know so much
Posted on 01/20/2014 2:51:32 PM PST by Sir Napsalot
The brains of older people only appear to slow down because they have so much information to compute, much like a full-up hard drive, scientists believe.
Older people do not decline mentally with age, it just takes them longer to recall facts because they have more information in their brains, scientists believe.
Much like a computer struggles as the hard drive gets full up, so to (sic) do humans take longer to access information, it has been suggested.
Researchers say this slowing down it is not the same as cognitive decline.
The human brain works slower in old age, said Dr. Michael Ramscar, but only because we have stored more information over time
The brains of older people do not get weak. On the contrary, they simply know more.
A team at Tübingen University in Germany programmed a computer to read a certain amount each day and learn new words and commands.
When the researchers let a computer read only so much, its performance on cognitive tests resembled that of a young adult.
But if the same computer was exposed to the experiences we might encounter over a lifetime with reading simulated over decades its performance now looked like that of an older adult.
Often it was slower, but not because its processing capacity had declined. Rather, increased experience had caused the computers database to grow, giving it more data to process which takes time.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
I could use a complete defrag and a larger L1 cache.
This explains a lot!!! What day is this :)
I know my hard drive is getting full and I’m a little short on RAM
That explains it!!
How do I get rid of spam and cookies?
We were talking on the phone and tried to recall something trivial....who played Captain Kirk...we BOTH said....darn...I know who you mean. And of course we could picture him.
We dropped it and went on to our next subject...all of a sudden, it was like pulling a card out of an index file....and I could see the name William.
Then my bud chimed in.....Shatner.
And that's what happens when you're old.
I believe we actually shove trivia into a trivia file when we get older and THAT'S WHY it takes so long to recover...it's in the brain's junk drawer.
“Older people do not decline mentally with age”
Yes, most do
Amen ... Amen ... mountainlion .... Your tagline says more than I shall ever!!!
My brain is acting like Kelly Bundy’s! For every new fact, I lose an old fact. It’s full to the top!
That’s what I tell my kids.
Doesn't explain my short term memory...though...
Where are my keys?
What time do you get off work again ?
What's for dinner again ?
I can remember where I put my keys... in 1975.
okay ... I’m going to ask why and then think but will not know why. Could you turn this around? Got any think pills?
Cute theory and analogy, but I think there are limits to comparing the human brain to a disc-drive. This article has passed those limits.
I knew that.
Also, people in their fifties and sixties are better at their jobs than college grads cause they have more life experience to process scenarios against to come up with the BEST solution. Kids might be faster because their slates are empty and info is kept in certain parts of the brain. As you age, you use more areas of the brain.
Hush ... please, be quiet. Don’t tell our secrets!!!
Every once in a while, it’s good to delete everything in the “TEMP” folder, too.... I do that with whiskey.
I believe this. Storing it away for future recall if I can remember where I store it!
Sherlock Holmes had an encyclopedic memory for things that were of interest to him and his work. But, Watson noted, he was studiously ignorant of many other things that were to him irrelevant. Holmes thought of the mind as a library with only so much capacity, which he wished to reserve for items of meaning.
On a lower level, Kelly of “Married With Children” had limited memory capacity. Her brother Bud noted that when she was full, any additional added fact meant that one would fall out... she’d forget something to compensate. Like “who scored four touchdowns in a Polk High football game.” FIFO.
Ah, so that explains why I can’t...What?
That’s been my theory all along.....Our brains aren’t limitless in their memory banks so it’s natural that short term memory starts forgetting things due to limited storage capacity..........
**I can remember where I put my keys... in 1975.**
But do you know where they are now?
Overtime? Heck ... why even risk it?
I gotta delete some stuff tomorrow...
Will emptying our cache work? Or only our bank account?
And if by "slow" scientists are referring to memory issues, don't scientists compare their notes?
Information not accessed recently goes into long-term memory rather than short term memory, so yes, takes further digging.
As methods are used like rote memorization, it strengthens the associations in the brain cells (axon and neuron thing) so it’s a physical development.
Exercise your brain with stuff you want to keep fresh.
Next to my glasses, wherever they are.
CANNOT DELETE E:\TV_Commercials\197*.AVI,
FILE(S) IN USE
Looks like I’m out of luck.
Sometimes my problem is that I can recite a poem I memorized in the 7th grade, but can’t remember what I had for lunch today.
This has been my theory and claim for years.
I’ll say this much, my wife’s 93 year old mother lives with us. “Mama’’ is a wonderful woman and her mind is sharp as a tack. She used to be an account with Sears. She balances her own checkbook to the exact penny. She does cross word puzzles and is a Suduku champ. And she knows what night the garbage goes out. I’m fifty=seven freakin’ years old and for the life of me I still don’t know what freakin’ night the bloody garbage goes out.
Experience creates a shortcut or workaround for a lot of situations.
I saw a show a while back with older people competing with 20 somethings. One of the tests was a room with 3 light switches connected to 3 light bulbs that were out of sight in another room. They had to figure out which bulb went with which switch without being able to see the bulbs and switches at the same time.
The 20 somethings floundered and the older people nailed it because they did exactly what I would have done. The older people turned on 2 of 3 switches then turned one back off. When they went into the other room they knew that the bulb that was still lit belonged to the switch that was still on. Then they would feel the bulb and know which bulb had recently been on.
I think the brain acts like a computer in other ways too.
For example did you ever stand over someone shoulder while they are operating the computer and mouse and YOU can see where to point and click but it takes them along time to find what is so obvious to you
And if you switch places its the same for them watching you..
I think it shows the brain is multi-tasking by time slicings- and when you are only WATCHING you are doing less than the person sitting down trying to operat all 10 fingers and read and write at the same time...
Same here! Some old fart should formulate a "Forgetting Unimportant Data" seminar and start making big money.
F15Eagle is right. Unused information gets stored in long term memory.
However, it’s not that there is “deeper digging”, it’s that when our brain moves something to long term memory is runs a compression algorithm on the data in order to store it more efficiently.
For most people, the algorithm is lossy (kind of like JPEG only completely different), which is why older folks can remember things but the details can get sketchy. There is also the factor of “generational loss”, which happens when information is retrieved and decompressed, and then re-compressed again.
The algorithm resides in the Hypothalgooglemus portion of the brain which is responsible for the search related functions (and also where Google got the name for their search engine).
So it’s not lack of space, it’s the time to decompress the data and the potential compression loss that is the problem.
When short term memory becomes a problem, it’s because there is a error in the block read of the algorithm in the Hypothalgooglemus and it’s searching the archives first.
That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.
That’s what I’ve been telling my kids!
I believe my daily grind of mathematics keeps my brain moving...but remember...it's still just manipulating 0-9.
On the other end, I do historical research which is a massive puzzle. Difficult but it's all connected somehow. I follow the people via maps. I know who was the neighbor of whom...the wives and the kids and the stream they fished in. Fun but what a ride.
Also...I had my glasses on a chain at one time...so they came on and off.
Then one day the chain broke. No problem...except the next time I took my glasses off....they dropped to the floor...Life is so fun.
I put the toilet seat down. He remembers!!
Done the top of the head thing.