The middle aged brain is better than the youthful one!
She argues that on a range of cognitive skills, the middle-aged brain (roughly aged 40-68) outperforms all other age groups. There are a few tricks we lose – for example, retrieval of information such as names and a slight slowing down – but that is more than compensated by the huge gains in many of the most important forms of brain performance.
The middle-aged brain has developed \”powerful systems that cut through the intricacies of complex problems to find concrete answers. It more calmly manages emotions and information. It is more nimble, more flexible, even cheerier.\” On four of six key mental abilities, the peak comes in mid-life. It can size up situations better, draw the connections and see the wider context; this enables better judgment. It appreciates subtlety and ambivalence. In research on wisdom – what it is and who has it – one study concluded it peaks at about 65 after a sustained accumulation through mid-life.
Madeleine \”Mahdi\” Bunting (age 40 and something) against Laurie Penny (aged 20 and something).
Well, if you were a female Guardian columnist of a certain age wouldn\’t you want to find something to put you above the young tyros chasing after your position?
Ms. Penny\’s reaction can be imagined: \”Facts? We don\’t need your steenkin\’ facts!\”
After asll, she never uses them in anything else she writes, does she?