The Other I

July 12, 2010

Get older to get smarter

Filed under: Intriguing Science — theotheri @ 7:54 pm

Sky Dive Orange County in Orange, Virginia Tandem Sky Diving Orange County Virginia USA

Almost since psychologists devised tests of intelligence, it has been accepted as proven that intelligence peaks in a person’s 20’s or early 30’s, when a slow and inevitable decline relentlessly begins.

It now looks as if this proven “fact” isn’t correct.

It depends on what is tested.  Speed and short-term memory do generally peak before we hit 30.  But vocabulary, emotional intelligence, social skills, problem-solving, and decision-making all improve with age and do not necessarily decline unless some debilitating disease intervenes.

There are some things that one can do to keep in peak cerebral condition as one moves toward one’s second century of life.  One, of course, is to remain involved in life.

Alas, another is exercise.  A 73-year-old from Wales goes sky-diving about once a month.  He’s sure it’s helping to improve his thinking.

My hope is that I might escape with something a little less extreme.

Which reminds me:  I haven’t done my 30 minutes in the rocking chair yet today.


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