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Brain Decline Begins At Age 27

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the mine-started-before-that dept.

Medicine 381

krou writes "The BBC is reporting that a new study suggests that our mental abilities start to dwindle at 27 after peaking at 22, and 27 could be seen as the 'start of old age.' The seven-year study, by Professor Timothy Salthouse of the University of Virginia, looked at 2,000 healthy people aged 18-60, and used a number of mental agility tests already used to spot signs of dementia. 'The first age at which there was any marked decline was at 27 in tests of brain speed, reasoning and visual puzzle-solving ability. Things like memory stayed intact until the age of 37, on average, while abilities based on accumulated knowledge, such as performance on tests of vocabulary or general information, increased until the age of 60.'"

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first post decline begins now! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27225387)

eat out my asshole!

Re:first post decline begins now! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27225981)

First post decline began a looong time ago..

You kids! (4, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225415)

Get off my... uh green thing, with the, um little plants? What's it called?

Re:You kids! (4, Funny)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225499)

Who are you? What are you talking about? And have you seen my glasses?

Re:You kids! (4, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225625)

Get off my... uh green thing, with the, um little plants? What's it called?

I'm guessing pot garden? :-)

Re:You kids! (4, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225805)

And so we come full-circle with the root-cause of the memory loss.

Re:You kids! (2, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27226177)

Pot doesn't cause memory loss, it's perfectly harmless. Hey, does anybody know where I left my bong? Could've swore it was right here a second ago....

Re:You kids! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27226257)

you smoke the bud, not the root.

Confounding Variable (5, Insightful)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225633)

... or perhaps the reason they saw declining figures starting at the age of 27, is that older people who are more intelligent, tend to not have the time, choose not to waste the effort, and do not need the $100, to participate in these kinds of studies.

That's the problem with doing these kinds of studies as a point-measurement across an age-range. The test groups cannot possibly be equivalent, unless a VERY large sample is taken at random from the population. Frankly, I'll have trouble believing such a study unless it's a prospective study that tests the same volunteers across a span of their lifetime.

Re:Confounding Variable (3, Interesting)

vasp (978274) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225801)

Another question one should ask is 'do new generations get smarter?' What if the kids of these 60 year olds will be smarter on average than their parents generation? I will certainly read up on this in 40 or so years..

Re:Confounding Variable (2, Insightful)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27226285)

'do new generations get smarter?

Maybe not "get smarter", but as our society has evolved more to a knowledge based one, where you need to keep adapting to keep up and be successful, and we are trained to constantly welcome the "new best thing", I also believe the generations growing up now will be more trained to adjust and learn.

My parents grew up in a world where you would study, get a job and stick with that job. "pick the job with the most jobsecurity", these days you study your entire carreer to keep up with the latest technologies and current methodologies, and you pick the job where you can have the "most experience" to ensure future adaptability and maximize your future jobsecurity.

I see that my generation (born in 1982) slowly adapted to this new "information based society", but not all have. The generations after me will be all more accustomed to learning and rapid information processing. In 10 years, those numbers and results will give an entire different image.

This is all from my own perspective though, it might be that things work differently in other industries.

Mod parent young! (0, Offtopic)

fugue (4373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225881)

Mods: mod this guy "young"! He's schmort. He must be a mere child. He may of course also be a girl... in which case he's probably wearing pigtails or something...

YMMV (4, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225717)

My mental abilities declined severely in 1976 when I was in a terrible auto accident. They improved markedly over the next ten years.

Knowledge, practice, and experience more than make up for the so-called "decline". Why is it that slashdot's geezers know the difference between "lose" and "loose", and between their, they're, and there? Maybe because they've had more time to read more books and figure out the context of those words' uses?

I used to be fast, I could catch a fly in mid flight with my bare hand. Now I can only catch the old flies.

As to your question, see my sig.

Re:YMMV (1, Funny)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225927)

Old people unite! See sig.

Re:You kids! (1)

laejoh (648921) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225727)

Is this one of these your mum jokes?

Re:You kids! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27225797)

What's what called? Who asked that?

This would have been first post (5, Funny)

MadMidnightBomber (894759) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225421)

but I'm 31, not 22.

Re:This would have been first post (1)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225963)

I am 35 and look at me! Still posting my comments!

Re:This would have been first post (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 5 years ago | (#27226083)

I just turned... um... 44!

I'm sure I read this a couple of days ago... (2, Funny)

iamflimflam1 (1369141) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225427)

But then I'm way past 27...

Peaking at 22 (4, Insightful)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225431)

What a coincidence! That's when most people graduate from college!

Re:Peaking at 22 (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225561)

What a coincidence! That's when most people graduate from college!

It makes me wonder if the same thing holds true for people who pursue advanced degrees. Would doctors peak at 26 and begin do decline at 31?

Re:Peaking at 22 (5, Funny)

bretticus (898739) | more than 5 years ago | (#27226019)

Well I feel like an idiot everyday of med school, so I am inclined to disagree.

Re:Peaking at 22 (3, Informative)

buswolley (591500) | more than 5 years ago | (#27226101)

I hear you.

Hey folks guess what. We are discovering brain exercise procedures that will improve a lot of these mental functions and slow their decline. No I'm not selling anything, but I am a research that is conducting this kind of work.

For retaining and improving working memory, try a regimen of the n-back test. BTW, working memory is a large component of IQ.

Re:Peaking at 22 (1)

StarReaver (1070668) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225783)

I'd be interested in seeing how people who have researching jobs do on these tests, or how well 27-and-older students score compare to students younger than 27. I certainly know a fair share of the "27-and-older" category in the computer science degree program here.

The peak is probably around 24 (3, Interesting)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225959)

But the difference being insignificant between 22-26.

Anyway. It's just old enough to see your offspring grow to adulthood/sexual maturity and therefore make you largely irrelevant to your genes.

 

Re:The peak is probably around 24 (2, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27226247)

No offense, but TFA is backed up by at least SOME research. They stated the peak was 22.

On what info can you just posit that "The peak is probably somewhere around 24".

Based on what it says it looks like a peak at 22 and then it would plateau until starting to fall again at around 27.

It's been too long since I've seen one of these (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27225435)

What's one of these, you ask? An AC post that mentions NIGGERS of course! Post your nigger jokes here!

Q: How come police dogs keep licking their asses?
A: To get the taste of NIGGER out of their mouths!

Watch the easily offended start frothing at the mouth. Really, I think taking racial differences so damned seriously is part of the problem, not the solution. So make a joke. Laugh. Realize we're not so different after all and use humor to deal with our differences because it sure is better than using conflict to deal with our differences. And then get pissed off anyway and mod me down, you know you wanna :).

Re:It's been too long since I've seen one of these (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27226183)

WHAT??!!

DUDE thats not cool my girlfriend is 100% BLACK and she gets straight As and shes in a sorority thats not the stereotype of black people. she is also pretty and listens to EMO and INDIE music and her dad is an engineer so her major is business.

WHY do people think its cool to be racist thats not funny it really hurts those people when you call them nigger and say they eat watermelons and malt liqor and KFC and mentholated grape cigarettes and gold rims and DVD players for Geo metros.

if you want people to like you then you cant be an asshole about talking SHIT and wanting attention for it, didn;'t your mommy tell you "no you can't say that stuff" ? I read /. because i want to have intelligint conversations not to deal wtih racist BS.

judging by the users of digg/myspace/facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27225445)

It starts a lot earlier than that.

says the 60-something year old... (5, Funny)

ecklesweb (713901) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225479)

[sarcasm]
Yeah, like I'm going to pay any attention to a study by a guy who got his Ph.D. in 1974 [psychologicalscience.org] whose brain has therefore been declining for at least 35 years...
[/sarcasm]

or maybe people get tired of stupid tests (5, Interesting)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225481)

Or, maybe by their late 20s, people have had enough of stupid tests -- they're done with school and the day when success was measured by testing rather than real accomplishments are over. Being less interested and excited by tests, they score lower.

If old age begins at 27, then I can say that from over a decade in, it's not so bad. I can still kick 20-somethings butts. I just wish those darn kids would stay off my lawn. (True -- I live near a middle school and the bastards keep cutting through yards to walk to school...)

Re:or maybe people get tired of stupid tests (1)

cruff (171569) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225629)

I agree. I decided to not pursue any advanced degree because I was sick and tired of taking tests.

Re:or maybe people get tired of stupid tests (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225681)

I just wish those darn kids would stay off my lawn. (True -- I live near a middle school and the bastards keep cutting through yards to walk to school...)

Build a fence. They work wonders.

Alternatively, sit on your porch eating sunflower seeds and spit on the kids as they walk by (this is what my ornery neighbor did when I was a kid -- be warned, this path leads to BAD mischief nights).

Re:or maybe people get tired of stupid tests (1)

Alpha830RulZ (939527) | more than 5 years ago | (#27226201)

I just wish those darn kids would stay off my lawn. (True -- I live near a middle school and the bastards keep cutting through yards to walk to school...)

Get a motion activated sprinkler. Or one of the gadgets that emit high pitched sounds that people over 25 can't hear.

It's all fuzzy now (1)

courtjester801 (1415457) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225491)

Finally, an excuse to forget an anniversary or birthday; or more realistically, a deadline.

Frist Psot (1)

chris_eineke (634570) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225495)

LAlALala, wooooooot. Kinda ironic that this message is released on frikkin' St. Paddy's Day. D:

Thanks for making my birthday today (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27225501)

assholes.

Unreliable (2, Funny)

Errtu76 (776778) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225505)

According to his own findings, these results can't be trusted as they come from a person who's mind is already decaying. I would've believed it if the prof was about 22 years old.

I'm 48 and I'm as sharp as a tack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27225511)

I was born in 1961, got my Computer Science degree in 1982, programmed in Cobol, Fortran, and C and I'm still as smart as I ever was.
Unfortunately, I've forgotten my user login, so I had to post this as Anonymous Coward. I tried to submit my comment using paper tape and punch cards but I couldn't figure it out. My feeding time is coming up... I hope my nurse comes by soon. By the way... get off my lawn.
dum de doo diddle dum dum dum de de de
oops, I forgot that I have to hit this little "Submit" button...sorry I nodded off there
Yup, sharp as a tack. ATTACK! Where?! What?! Who!? Oh dear... My cow-orkers are laughing at me again... I came to work in my pyjamas again. You know, the ones with the giraffes on them? What do you mean you don't know? Don't we know each other? Why am I talking to you? Where am I? I'm cold.
I hope my children visit me.

Noooooo! (4, Funny)

pdabbadabba (720526) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225535)

As a 26-year-old, let me be the first to say:

"Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!"

Re:Noooooo! (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225663)

Don't you mean, "Do not want!"?

Re:Noooooo! (1)

pdabbadabba (720526) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225697)

Yes. Thank you.

"DO NOT WANT!"

Re:Noooooo! (5, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225799)

You think you have it bad, I'm 27. I was going to say something like "wooo! That means I'm at my peak." Then I realized that it said, right there, that 22 was the peak. Also I'm wearing my Mr Rogers cardigan, I told myself I was wearing it ironically, but now I see that for the lie it is. So enjoy these last few months when you can finish the summary before jumping to conclusions and can actually wear old person clothes ironically.

Re:Noooooo! (2, Funny)

pdabbadabba (720526) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225875)

What!? Who!?

Re:Noooooo! (4, Informative)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225825)

The time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I'd something more to say.

Re:Noooooo! (4, Funny)

reverseengineer (580922) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225977)

As a 27-year old, I realize that I have completely spent the peak years of my intellectual capacity having made no greater contribution to the advancement of the human race than a few hundred Slashdot posts....




Yeah, I can live with that.

Re:Noooooo! (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27226239)

I realize that I have completely spent the peak years of my intellectual capacity having made no greater contribution to the advancement of the human race than a few hundred Slashdot posts....

Few hundred? You loser. I was up to almost 4,000 before the new discussion system kicked in and took away my ability to see my total post count.

Re:Noooooo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27225997)

As a 26-year-old, let me be the first to say:

"Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!"

I can't even remember how old I am but it's close to around 27. I stopped feverishly counting when I hit 21 and could drink alcohol (legally). Come to think of it, that may have something to do with all this.

Uh-huh (4, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225537)

Bit of a flamebait headline, eh? I know I'm not mentally as fast as my 3-year old (watching his little brain hum is a bit awe-inspiring...hard to believe I ever learned at that pace), but at the same time my actual skills are vastly more advanced.

Likewise, I'm sure I was more mentally agile at 18 than I am now at 30, but I know for a fact at 18 I wasn't even a tenth the coder I am now: some of the things I remember struggling with are trivial now, and my productivity is dramatically higher.

So yea, youth and energy are nice, but they fade as experience comes to the fore, and experience carries you until the real mental infirmities kick in.

Re:Uh-huh (3, Informative)

krou (1027572) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225849)

That's why the summary says, "abilities based on accumulated knowledge, such as performance on tests of vocabulary or general information, increased until the age of 60" (emphasis mine).

It's not your accumulated knowledge that declines initially, it's "brain speed, reasoning and visual puzzle-solving ability". When you consider that things such as dementia and alzheimer's are believed to begin several years before they noticeably affect you, your "decline" is going to be very subtle, and over a long period of time.

Oh, and the headline was the BBC's.

Re:Uh-huh (3, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#27226185)

So the BBC can't do flamebait? Come on.

And problem solving ability is more useful when you're young anyway, because there are so many problems that you don't know the solution to. Your brain is working overtime, all the time, trying to process crazy new information.

My first mainframe admin job, I lived in a heightened state of awareness, like a 20 point buck during deer season. Every time the system hiccuped or some COBOL job crapped itself I had this adrenaline response...It was off the charts in my previous experience. That weight of hundreds of people and millions of dollars was terrifying.

Now? It's old hat. Where I would have been running around and wracking my brain, I go get a cup of coffee, check the logs, and fix the problem. There's no panic, there's no high-end problem solving even, because I've already solved those problems in the past, I just need to apply that experience to the current problem.

The thing is, that's life. As you move through life, the ability to react immediately to never-before-experienced situations should decline in favor of the ability to apply experience to a familiar problem.

You see what I'm saying? The sort of problem solving that's declining isn't as useful to an adult as the ability to constructively apply experience. It is pejorative to refer to it as an overall decline in problem solving abilities; it's a decline in a type of problem solving ability.

Re:Uh-huh (1)

krou (1027572) | more than 5 years ago | (#27226283)

Not claiming the BBC don't do flamebait, just pointing out it wasn't me doing the flame-bating ;)

Sure, I get exactly what you're saying, and I do agree with you. I was just pointing out that what you initially described was exactly what the study was talking about.

Re:Uh-huh (1)

AJWM (19027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225989)

So yea, youth and energy are nice, but they fade as experience comes to the fore

Yep, old age and treachery will beat youth and skill every time.

More seriously, it's faster and more efficient to retrieve a problem solution from memory than to solve it from first principles -- heck, with sufficient experience you recognize incipient problems before they start -- so as long as the RAM holds out it doesn't matter if the CPU speed starts to slip.

Of course that doesn't apply to adapting to totally new situations, something that youth has long known to be better at on average.

Re:Uh-huh (2, Funny)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 5 years ago | (#27226221)

Of course that doesn't apply to adapting to totally new situations, something that youth has long known to be better at on average.

OTOH, by the time you reach my age, there aren't that many totally new situations.

I knew there was a reason (2, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225555)

They told us never trust anyone over 30

...and what was that movie?

Re:I knew there was a reason (1)

DrData99 (916924) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225657)

Wild in the Streets

Re:I knew there was a reason (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225775)

No it's a really old one about people who had to turn themselves in on their 30th birthday.

Logan's Run (1)

charleste (537078) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225991)

Stop Runner!

Re:I knew there was a reason (1)

icebrain (944107) | more than 5 years ago | (#27226075)

Logan's Run

Re:I knew there was a reason (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#27226115)

Logan's run?

Re:I knew there was a reason (1)

Brickwall (985910) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225705)

Wild in the streets

Seriously, I'm over 50, and I do a lot to try to stay sharp. Sudoku, chess problems, bridge problems, cryptic crosswords - virtually every day. I think a lot of people once they get out of school just stop exercising their brains. What you don't use, you lose.

Re:I knew there was a reason (1)

conureman (748753) | more than 5 years ago | (#27226065)

My son is still in school, and the only thing he seems to have learned is to stop using his brain. It took me ten years or so to get back on track, perhaps only because I eschewed the television in that time.

Training factor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27225557)

Doesn't seem like they have accounted for training. The ages seem to coincide with the years when a person might be actively perusing new knowledge, and generally being in a receptive mode so to speak.

I mean, the skills could be declining from lack of use as opposed to brain deterioration or what not?

Sign me up! (1)

digitalgiblet (530309) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225571)

I'm ready for Carousel! Let the Last Day celebration begin!

college has nothing to do with it? (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225581)

22 year olds are typically either about to graduate from college or just did.

They're still in "study" mode. Older than that, useless information gets shoved aside as people get jobs and settle into doing repetitive day-to-day tasks.

They're not "forced" to learn anymore.

In short, nothing to see here, move...OH SHINY!!!

Yeah, like I was saying, I don't eat anything that an animal has crapped out.

Abstract (2, Interesting)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225601)

Volume 30, Issue 4, Pages 507-514 (April 2009)

When does age-related cognitive decline begin? [neurobiologyofaging.org]

Timothy A. Salthouse
Received 17 April 2008; received in revised form 20 August 2008; accepted 12 September 2008. published online 24 February 2009.

Abstract
Cross-sectional comparisons have consistently revealed that increased age is associated with lower levels of cognitive performance, even in the range from 18 to 60 years of age. However, the validity of cross-sectional comparisons of cognitive functioning in young and middle-aged adults has been questioned because of the discrepant age trends found in longitudinal and cross-sectional analyses. The results of the current project suggest that a major factor contributing to the discrepancy is the masking of age-related declines in longitudinal comparisons by large positive effects associated with prior test experience. Results from three methods of estimating retest effects in this project, together with results from studies comparing non-human animals raised in constant environments and from studies examining neurobiological variables not susceptible to retest effects, converge on a conclusion that some aspects of age-related cognitive decline begin in healthy educated adults when they are in their 20s and 30s.

My comment:

Speaking as one of those aging boomers, age profiling is OK. So is racial, gender, sexual preference and religious profiling. We operating in a mysterious and complex world while suffering from a poverty of information. It's all about getting all the data you can, baby... its all about the data...

Re:Abstract (3, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225865)

Speaking as one of those aging boomers, age profiling is OK. So is racial, gender, sexual preference and religious profiling. We operating in a mysterious and complex world while suffering from a poverty of information. It's all about getting all the data you can, baby... its all about the data...

Sure, until someone spots a trend that Christians show a greater tendancy towards dementia than Atheists. Then it's a throw-down. Nevermind that it might be an exploratory study, or not be statistically significant (3%?), etc., the problem is as soon as we start doing these kinds of analysis people will take it out of proportion to either support or refute their own niche. The end result is social chaos. No, profiling is not okay. Gathering data is all fine and good, but there's serious ethical questions about how that data is packaged and released.

I mean, look at how many people think evolution is "just a theory", and you might start to realize just how dangerous a little knowledge is in the hands of morons.

Re:Abstract (1)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 5 years ago | (#27226015)

I mean, look at how many people think evolution is "just a theory", and you might start to realize just how dangerous a little knowledge is in the hands of morons.

Gosh, its almost as bad as those morons who claim that "race is just a social construct"!

Seriously, the problem with a little knowledge is it is too little. The social chaos results from people throwing data away and that starts with designating certain kinds of discrimination off limits to private parties making their own decisions, as does Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

No it doesn't (1)

RemoWilliams84 (1348761) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225603)

No it doesn't! Today is my 27th birthday, and I can't tell a bit... wait, what were we talking about?

Re:No it doesn't (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27225661)

That might be funnier if your username were RemoWilliams82.

Old age eh? (1)

Quato (132194) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225617)

I'm 33 and currently getting more dumber. I thought it was all the alcohol killing off neurons. Now I can blame old age.
I'll have another one!
Cheers!

stem cells (3, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225621)

I expect stem cell technology will allow us to replenish the abilities of our brains some time before most of us are too much older and dumber. Fear not, fellow 28-year-olds.

Re:stem cells (1)

batquux (323697) | more than 5 years ago | (#27226181)

Unfortunately, we have to rely on the 22-year-olds to pull this off for us.

This is one of those squared functions, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27225627)

Let's see, I'm double that...That leaves me 1/4 the brain power...Eh, whatever...I wasn't using it anyway.

It depends ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27225647)

It depends on who you are. Your genes, your ability and desire to continue to learn throughout life, even your level of physical activity.

Most people pretty much stop learning when they leave school. Keep learning, and your brain won't decline.

You know, even Forest Gump got it right - "stupid is as stupid does."

"news" for nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27225649)

I saw this headline in a dozen different sites at least 36 hours ago. I remember when /. used to be a redoubt where one could find first hand news. Maybe the editors are getting too old to keep the site sync with the world.

Upside (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27225675)

Don't downplay the good side of all this. I can watch the same show over and over and over, as if it was the first time!

correlationisnotcausation? (2, Interesting)

aztektum (170569) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225687)

Most of the people I know in their late 20's (including myself) are done with college (including grad school), have homes, have or are planning to have kids, more concerned with paying bills and beginning to save for retirement than they are with being a super genius.

So my question, is this hard biological evidence or psychology/sociology? I find it hard to believe that, at 27 (give or take) a switch is flicked that starts a downward spiral.

Re:correlationisnotcausation? (1)

graveborn (1033312) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225817)

bah you beat me to it! was thinking the same thing.

The world has changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27225707)

The decline is not because people are older, but because they were brought up in an earlier age, before modern technology.

Brain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27225763)

BRAIN?!@# Who cares about yer brain laddy!

What about me grapenuts! They're going to be tooching the floor before me brain goes to mush eh?

It's happened to me and it sucks (4, Interesting)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225767)

Chemo did a number on me too.

But just getting older I can feel myself slipping away. A little less snap. A little slower reactions. The memory is also not that great (wasn't to start with).

It ruins some of my hobbies like Ultimate and Boardgaming because there are no age/skill brackets for those activities like there are for softball.

Ultimate is particularly bad because there has been a big push to get ultimate down to 13 year olds. So now you have people with 18 year old bodies and 5 years experience coming out to play "pickup". This leads to long periods of watching them run around like gazelles tossing the disk back and forth to each other. The only thing they can't do is fake well.

Boardgaming- perhaps because of BSW or perhaps because of boardgamegeek has gone the other way- along the brain axis. Where boardgamers used to be a mix of average folks, increasingly you have certifiable genius's. Likewise, the games have gone away from dice to pure logic/player interaction over the past 8 years and these brainiacs can see almost to the end of the game from the first turn. And the bad part is that 10 minutes in, I can see if I've lost and now i have to sit through another 45 minutes until the actual loss. No handicapping, no dividing into different play classes.

I find the lack of handicapping to be an expression of our "winner take all" society. I guess I need to either start a group with handicapping or move on to other activities.

---

Other things you lose are sense of smell, sense of touch, and sense of taste.

So don't give up your life from 18 to 30 so you can "have a good life" because you are giving up your best years.
Definitely have some fun along the way.

Re:It's happened to me and it sucks (1)

rgviza (1303161) | more than 5 years ago | (#27226153)

> The memory is also not that great (wasn't to start with).

Hmmm, I can't remember if my memory was ever any better...

-Viz

Re:It's happened to me and it sucks (1)

blueforce (192332) | more than 5 years ago | (#27226217)

Where in the frak is -1 depressing when you need it?

Re:It's happened to me and it sucks (1)

cutout384 (987814) | more than 5 years ago | (#27226281)

As a 40-something playing ultimate with much younger folks, I feel for you. But here, too, experience has a huge impact. I generally am at the place I need to be to make a play sooner than I was at age 27, even though I get there slower. And I know when to exert, when to coast a bit. The game has a richness and feel to it that it never had for me at age 30. I can read my team and the opponent and see which individuals and which situations are going to make the biggest impact on the outcome. And few things are more enjoyable than beating someone half your age to the disc. One such thing is the relational aspect of it - seeing these "kids" grow into amazing players and knowing I have a stake in that. Perhaps that's more related to having young 'uns of my own. If that's the consolation for mental and physical decline, I'll take it!

Mental Agility Not The Only Thing That Peaks At 22 (3, Funny)

aquatone282 (905179) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225807)

For men that is.

Now, where did I put my ED pills?

Thank god for the seven year spurt (1)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225837)

There's evidence that the brain goes through a spurt every seven years where we remember more, become more creative, and learn new stuff.

I had a reference but forgot where I put it.

Now get off my lawn.

Interesting... (1)

jrmcc (703725) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225853)

Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain... All dead @ 27...

Memory decline (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 5 years ago | (#27225867)

"Things like memory stayed intact until the age of 37, on average"

My memory's already pretty bad and I'm just 33. You mean it's going to get worse? Of course, most of my memory issues seem to stem from a lack of sleep. Two kids will do that to you. My other memory problems (not being able to link most faces with names unless I see the person *MANY* times) go way back.

So Logan's Run Had It Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27225983)

So Logan's Run had it right, we stop contributing to society by age 30 and should be "renewed." Bring on the Sandmen!

Cool (1)

kungfugleek (1314949) | more than 5 years ago | (#27226025)

Does that mean I can retire at 35?

This is actually a criticism of one type of study (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27226067)

His study basically was a criticism of longitudinal studies, giving evidence of retesting effects and then saying that because of this cross-sectional studies are better suited to this kind of evaluation. See, the difference between the two is that longitudinal studies have found that decline begins around 60 whereas cross-sectional studies show decline beginning in the 20's and 30's on some factors (e.g. fluid intelligence, though crystallized intelligence continues to remain intact or improve). The thing is, there are also problems with cross sectional studies, as well, such as the cohort effect (i.e. factors peculiar to the different age groups being tested at one point in time will affect the outcome). In all likelihood the reality of cognitive decline is somewhere in the middle of these two groups of results; earlier than the longitudinal studies suggest and later than the cross-sectional studies suggest.

President of the USA (1)

dohnut (189348) | more than 5 years ago | (#27226069)

The minimum age is 35.

Just saying..

Re:President of the USA (2, Interesting)

digitalgiblet (530309) | more than 5 years ago | (#27226163)

For President I'll take age and experience over fast firing neurons any day. Up to a point...

So who else (1)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 5 years ago | (#27226137)

is 27?

Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27226151)

I took a Gerontology course several years ago that cited several studies stating that mental decline begins between the ages of 20 and 30. It's been apparent for some time that aging begins much earlier than most of us would like, so maybe this study is notable just because it has higher specificity?

Hmm... (1)

TheMightyFuzzball (1500683) | more than 5 years ago | (#27226233)

I hope by the time I am 60 they discover a cure for ageing...

Not surprising at all... (2, Interesting)

mario_grgic (515333) | more than 5 years ago | (#27226259)

Considering that at 22 most people are fresh out of college and their brain still well exercised.

After that they join the corporate slavery, where 5 years in cubes destroys their mind and numbs them down to the obedience level demanded by their PHBs, and corporate masters.

A few more decades of that and they will be completely senile.

Those who stay in academia on the other hand make their biggest achievements in late thirties (most at about 38).

http://sps.nus.edu.sg/~limchuwe/articles/youth.html [nus.edu.sg]

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