News Stories

Older Brains are Better

Christmas is the season when we get together with elderly friends and relatives (NOTE: You can watch the video here), and Santa's not so young either! Have YOU gotten to the point where birthdays are depressing? Here's something you should know: the brains of older people are NOT slower but ARE wiser than young brains, which allows older adults to achieve an equivalent level of performance.

Geriatrics expert Oury Monchi says, "The older brain has experience and knows that nothing is gained by jumping the gun. It was already known that aging is not necessarily associated with a significant loss in cognitive function. When it comes to certain tasks, the brains of older adults can achieve very close to the same performance as those of younger ones.

"We now have neurobiological evidence showing that with age comes wisdom and that as the brain gets older, it learns to better allocate its resources. Overall, our study shows that Aesop's fable about the tortoise and the hare was on the money: being able to run fast does not always win the race--you have to know how to best use your abilities. This adage is a defining characteristic of aging.

"Funnily enough, the young brain is more reactive to negative reinforcement than the older one. When the young participants (in a study he conducted) made a mistake and had to plan and execute a new strategy to get the right answer, various parts of their brains were recruited even before the next task began. However, when the older participants learned that they had made a mistake, these regions were only recruited at the beginning of the next trial, indicating that with age, we decide to make adjustments only when absolutely necessary. It is as though the older brain is more impervious to criticism and more confident than the young brain."

So older and wiser is true, after all! How old was the Master of the Key? He appeared to be middle-aged, but he had gave Whitley the wisdom of the ages, all of which Whitley wrote down in The Key. One of the most amazing things he said was that the soul is a SCIENCE that we have yet to understand. Read all the other things MOTKE told Whitley, with a new foreword from telling which of these predictions have COME TRUE, in the new edition of The Key, in bookstores now (and if you get it from the Whitley Strieber Collection, it will come with an autographed bookplate designed by Whitley!)



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