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InternationalWhy people's memory gets worse with age?

Why people’s memory gets worse with age?

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Gaston de Persigny
Gaston de Persigny
Gaston de Persigny - Reporter at The European Times News

An explanation found

The researchers suggest that lifelong learning “clutters up” older people’s memories.

The sad fact is that with age, many people have difficulty with memory.

A research team from Harvard, Columbia and the University of Toronto tried to find an answer to the question of why this is happening. According to scientists, the information accumulated by a person over the years takes up more and more space in the brain with age, which makes it more difficult to “navigate” through memories. When searching for certain information, an elderly person has to “wade through” a lot of memories that are completely unrelated to the ones they are looking for.

This means that when looking for a particular memory, older people often find other, completely irrelevant information instead.

“Older people know the world better, but typically show lower episodic memory performance on many lab tasks compared to younger people. We suggest that this paradox can be explained, at least in part, by the fact that the memory of the elderly is heavily “cluttered” with various information. This, in turn, can create difficulty in retrieving the target information (and adversely affect episodic and working memory tasks),” the authors write in their article.

However, while rich life experiences can make memory difficult, the researchers say it has its own benefits, such as stimulating creativity and decision-making.

“Available evidence suggests that older people show preserved and sometimes improved creativity, depending on the richness of memory,” the scientists said.

The study found that older adults rely more heavily on previous knowledge when performing a cognitive task than younger people.

The experts said they hope that with more research and a better understanding of how memory works in older people, they will be able to find new ways to help people with “overflowing” memories.

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