The Huffington Post:
The population in the United States is aging. That has created a lot of anxiety about the cognitive effects of getting older. Lots of research suggests that older adults are worse than younger adults on a variety of different thinking tasks. They remember fewer words from lists they see. They are slower to respond in many situations. They have more trouble ignoring distracting information.
An interesting paper in the April 2013 issue of Psychological Science by Renee Biss, Joan Ngo, Lynn Hasher, Karen Campbell, and Gillian Rowe suggests that — while these factors may look like they are all aspects of cognitive decline — there are times when these changes may actually be helpful.
In particular, there has been a long line of research in psychology showing that older adults have worse basic recall memory than younger adults. The typical way to demonstrate this effect is to show participants a list of words and then have them recall the words from that list after a short delay. College students remember a higher proportion of the words on the list than adults in their 60s and 70s.
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