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folkhemmet
2007-Nov-20, 12:27 PM
I know Einstein came up with the theory of relativity when he was in his 20s and the mathematician Gregory Perelman who recently solved an important outstanding problem in that field did so in his 30s. But then you the US Supreme Court justices who are all over the age of 50 and yet seem to be quite competent reasoners. Exercise psysiologists agree that most human beings reach their peak physical performance sometime between age 20 and 30. Is there any analogous agreement between, say, neuroscientists or psychologists when it comes to peak mental capacity? What does the experimental data show? What is the age, roughly, at which cognitive function peaks in human beings?

Argos
2007-Nov-20, 12:48 PM
I [mid 40īs] am much better than I ever was. I can understand things I did not in my 20īs and 30īs. Right now, a guy at 40 (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2007/11/14/scisurf114.xml) is a serious candidate to become the biggest genius ever.

Last week a study [no links] was issued that shows that the brain can rewire itself during life. The trick is to keep an intellectual life.

Larry Jacks
2007-Nov-20, 02:06 PM
It has to be in the teen years. Ask any teenager - they're certain they know everything!

Noclevername
2007-Nov-20, 02:17 PM
Whatever it is, I peaked too early, I'm on the downside now.

Maksutov
2007-Nov-20, 02:17 PM
[edit] But then you the US Supreme Court justices who are all over the age of 50 and yet seem to be quite competent reasoners....That's really amazing. People who are over 50 and still apparently able to reason!

Nedt thing you know, folkw over 70 will be able to complete a sent4eneQ

Delvo
2007-Nov-20, 02:17 PM
In the population overall, the average does decrease with age during adulthood, but the magnitude of the loss only mathematically corresponds to the magnitude of the Flynn Effect (meaning the older people would have had lower scores all along including when they were younger because it's a difference between generations) plus a bit of extra for people who eventually acquire some other interfering factor aside from age, like brain injuries, brain tumors, and Alzheimer's and Pick's diseases. So it looks like, if you don't get some obscure medical condition or get injected with lots of heavy metal ions or smack you head in a motorcycle accident or such, then age alone won't do anything to you.

Other explanations are available for the "professional achievements" issue: personality shifts from ambition and drive to complacency and a desire for stability, prejudicial treatment within the profession (especially aomng the science & math crowd; engineers sometimes have complained about getting shut out and forced out from the "real" work just for living past 40), time elapsed since last formal training, lack of exposure to new procedures, increased financial responsibilities giving them an incentive to make low-risk, low-payoff choices instead of high-risk, high-payoff ones...

AndreH
2007-Nov-20, 02:19 PM
I [mid 40īs] am much better than I ever was. I can understand things I did not in my 20īs and 30īs. Right now, a guy at 40 (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2007/11/14/scisurf114.xml) is a serious candidate to become the biggest genius ever.

Last week a study [no links] was issued that shows that the brain can rewire itself during life. The trick is to keep an intellectual life.

I (mid 40's) am much better when it comes to things were intuitive decissions have to be made. But I realise that my memory is not as good as it used to be. All my school and University time I profited from the ability to memorise things just "passing by" that means without special effort. When I additionally made effort to memorise things (learning by heart) these things have been literally engraved into my memory for years. I was one of these lucky guys who passed everything with a B- with almost no effort.
I realise that even though I work a lot with my brain, these abilities are not as good anymore.

Doodler
2007-Nov-20, 02:21 PM
What metric are you using to define mental capacity?

Younger minds absorb new information more effectively, older minds already have a wealth of data to draw on.

Which do you define as superior?

Maksutov
2007-Nov-20, 02:30 PM
[edit] But then you the US Supreme Court justices who are all over the age of 50 and yet seem to be quite competent reasoners....That's really amazing. People who are over 50 and still apparently able to reason!

Next thing you know, folks over 70 will be able to complete a sentence!

Oh, brave new world!

But, what a threat they pose to those younger!

They must all be killed.

But, at what age?

Well, it seems 30 is the dividing point.

So, let's make it a law AND a celebration (babes loove celebrations).

Runner, stop!

BLAM! (http://i.imdb.com/Photos/Mptv/1085/10239_0004.jpg)

Yo be ice, ho!

THUD THUD THUD THUD THUD THUD THUD THUD THUD THUD THUD


(Caution: Genius composers at work)

WaxRubiks
2007-Nov-20, 02:37 PM
wilheim spangletof, invented the ever lasting spaghetti hoop at 189.

Argos
2007-Nov-20, 02:38 PM
Well, it seems 30 is the dividing point.


You might like to know Loganīs run. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logan's_Run_(1976_film)) :)

SeanF
2007-Nov-20, 02:51 PM
You might like to know Loganīs run. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logan's_Run_(1976_film)) :)
I'm pretty sure he does. :)

Argos
2007-Nov-20, 02:56 PM
Yeah, I know... ;)

SeanF
2007-Nov-20, 03:30 PM
Yeah, I know... ;)
Oh, I didn't know you knew he knew, you know?

MAPNUT
2007-Nov-20, 07:34 PM
From my own wxperience, I think people do tend to lose some mental, umm, what's the word? actuary? No, acuity, that's it. Where was I? Oh yes, aging and mental rapacity. Wait, is that a typo? No, rapacity is a wrd. WEhat's a wrd? wide receiver defense? No, we're not talkingf about football. Oh, Yes, I remember now. Yes, i do think peopel tend to loose some mental acuity as they beco molder.

farmerjumperdon
2007-Nov-20, 07:47 PM
Right now, a guy at 40 (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2007/11/14/scisurf114.xml) is a serious candidate to become the biggest genius ever.

Unfortunately, the story at the end of that link appears to be just a tease. It says almost nothing about the theory.

The one visual provided looks like he's really good with a Spirograph though.

Noclevername
2007-Nov-20, 07:52 PM
Unfortunately, the story at the end of that link appears to be just a tease. It says almost nothing about the theory.

The one visual provided looks like he's really good with a Spirograph though.



Want more? Here's more. (http://www.bautforum.com/general-science/67064-new-scientist-reports-theory-everything.html)

Swift
2007-Nov-20, 08:47 PM
What metric are you using to define mental capacity?

Younger minds absorb new information more effectively, older minds already have a wealth of data to draw on.

Which do you define as superior?
I think that is key. I think Delvo had some key factors as far as personality changes (risk taking/aversion, etc.).

What your mind might loose in agility, I think is made up for in increased knowledge, experience, and wisdom.

It does remind me of one of my favorite Dilberts...
New Employee: Hey! I have a new idea, have we ever tried this?
Five year employee: We tried that five years ago, it didn't work then, it won't work now.
Ten year employee: It is the end of life as we know it.
:D

Tucson_Tim
2007-Nov-20, 08:52 PM
I don't think I had a "peak". It was more like a slight rise in elevation. Sort of like a tidal wave out in the middle of the ocean - and I never noticed it.

KaiYeves
2007-Nov-20, 10:06 PM
I read somewhere that the brain is largest at about 12. I hope my brain hasn't shrunk too much yet... it hasn't even been an Olympiad since I was 12.

mike alexander
2007-Nov-21, 05:45 AM
I don't see how they can call that guy the biggest genius ever. He appears to be normal-sized to me. Unless he's riding a thirty-foot board or something.

folkhemmet
2007-Nov-21, 05:45 AM
By mental capacity I mean the ability to solve problems, remember information, and learn new skills. Examples might include: solving a sudoku and/or learning a foreign language. Mental capacity can be measured using tests of memory, spatial analysis, problem solving, reading comprehension, etc. I was also wondering if part of the reason why people have come to the conclusion that younger minds are quicker and absorb information better than older minds has to do with the fact younger people, generally, have more practice wrt using their minds e.g. taking multiple college classes. This would be analogous to physical capacity, as some studies have shown that a large part of the decrease in physical capacity comes from a lack of use-- people become more busy raising families and working and so they end up having less time to work out their bodies and their brains.

Gillianren
2007-Nov-21, 06:16 AM
By mental capacity I mean the ability to solve problems, remember information, and learn new skills. Examples might include: solving a sudoku and/or learning a foreign language. Mental capacity can be measured using tests of memory, spatial analysis, problem solving, reading comprehension, etc. I was also wondering if part of the reason why people have come to the conclusion that younger minds are quicker and absorb information better than older minds has to do with the fact younger people, generally, have more practice wrt using their minds e.g. taking multiple college classes. This would be analogous to physical capacity, as some studies have shown that a large part of the decrease in physical capacity comes from a lack of use-- people become more busy raising families and working and so they end up having less time to work out their bodies and their brains.

Very young children are set up to absorb information quickly; their brains are still developing. It's a biological fact that a young child, say under the age of seven or so, just learns faster than even a teenager. Your problem-solving skills can just keep increasing (leaving out dementia, etc.), but your brain will never be as adept at creating new pathways as it was when you were a child. It has nothing to do with lack of working out brains.

RalofTyr
2007-Nov-21, 06:39 AM
When I do acid...*



*I don't do acid or any other types of drugs. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

Noclevername
2007-Nov-21, 03:06 PM
Increased mental exercise can slow the losses brought about by aging. There is no evidence that they can increase one's capacity after 35.

farmerjumperdon
2007-Nov-21, 03:23 PM
Want more? Here's more. (http://www.bautforum.com/general-science/67064-new-scientist-reports-theory-everything.html)

Thank you, interesting, but out of my league as far as understanding the math used.

I was dissappointed not to see more Spirograph doodles; but some of the line drawings are almost as cool.

Argos
2007-Nov-21, 04:40 PM
I was dissappointed not to see more Spirograph doodles; but some of the line drawings are almost as cool.

As a minor nit-pick, the E8 canīt be drawn with a spirograph because thereīs only straight lines [connections] in it.

mike alexander
2007-Nov-22, 06:22 AM
I'm generally enjoying my own slow slide toward decrepitude.

One thing I've noticed is that as I get older my ability to think illogically has gotten much better. This doesn't help me solve problems but it does give me more chuckles.