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Old PeopleArticle Summary:

Do we get smarter with age? Does our ability to perceive and process slow down? Recent studies have shown how older individuals are able to process quicker than younger individuals. Although, the medical world identifies that the “brain’s processing speed slows with age”, the findings of new studies shows that older people are processing information quicker and perceive more. Some of the characteristics they have found is as follows:

1. As we age we are more capable of seeing the big picture and seeing reality (Study published in Journal of Neuron in 2005, study performed by Psychologist Allison Sekuler, PhD, of McMaster University in Canada). Younger people focus more on detail, older people take in the entire scene.

2. As we age we become less emotional (Study published in 2009, psychologist Vasiliki Orgeta, PhD).

3. As we age we understand ourselves and people more (Study published in the Journal of Gerontology in 2007)


In this article Annie explains ten ways in which people become smarter with age. Identifying that as we get older our ability to change and perceive more information increases.


Article Reference:  10 Ways We Get Smarter As We Age – Annie Murphy Paul – Time ideas – August 15 2013 – http://ideas.time.com/2013/08/15/10-ways-we-get-smarter-as-we-age/




Front Psychol. 2013; 4: 66.

Published online 2013 February 20. doi:  10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00066 PMCID: PMC3576628

Perceptual Learning and Aging: Improved Performance for Low-Contrast Motion Discrimination

Jeffrey D. Bower,1 Takeo Watanabe,2 and George J. Andersen1,*



Aging reduces center-surround antagonism in visual motion processing.

Betts LR, Taylor CP, Sekuler AB, Bennett PJ.

Neuron. 2005 Feb 3;45(3):361-6.

PMID: 15694323 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]



Specificity of age differences in emotion regulation

Vasiliki Orgeta

Aging & Mental Health

Vol. 13, Iss. 6, 2009


Comments (7)

  1. Teja Reddy


    I agree with this article because what it said has logic, this article can be used for IMT as an example since it has many IMT concepts. As IMT says Type A people or type C people with advancement in time their ability to perceive and apply new things increases, but the increment depends upon their rate of cycle of learning, even though if the rate is low their is increment. So with increment in perception of information, one can solve faster and apply new things when compared with same type of people. It is mainly because of their experience to deal things.So there is a chance of people getting smarter as they age.

  2. Eric Bryan


    I agree with this article and see a strong correlation between it and what we discuss in class. The most obvious overlap is the idea that we learn quicker the older that we get. This relates to the idea that our learning cycle, whether we are type a or type c, speeds up over time resulting in a faster cycle by the time we are senior citizens. The other concept I agreed with and believe coincides with IMT is that as we age, we are more likely to look at the bigger picture and reality rathe than just details. This provides good evidence and support as to why our learning cycles speed up with age.

  3. Brian West


    This article relates very well the Information Measurement Theory and the cycle of learning. Type A people are less emotional and have more information. As people age we perceive more information which allows the cycle of learning to speed up and for change to occur more often. Also, with more information as people age, it is more likely for people to predict the future. I believe this is why it is known people become smarter and wiser as they age.

  4. Reply

    But researchers have recently made some surprising discoveries about what’s really happening in our heads as we age: “We are identifying ways in which older minds hold their own against younger ones and even surpass them,” Gatz says.
    With aging there is generalize decrease in the cognitive functions,Although older generation acquire more experience through out their life,Be able to control their emotions.therefore they have better judgement and so smarter compare to younger generations.Although intelligent person is not equivalent to smart a smart individual,as intelligence is basically genetically determined.
    That meets the cycle of learning that will be accelerated through the life experience you get because of aging.

  5. Isaac Martinez


    We also need to understand that the human brain somewhat operates like human muscles. If you exert your muscles to a certain point, during the healing process, normally they will expand and grow. To an extent, our brains will work similarly; stress your brain and watch it grow. Throughout our life span we will spend numerous years (hopefully) engaging and exerting our brains (minds) in daily engagements; not to mention the amount of time we spend in academia. This time spent (stressing our minds) will help our powers of perception to increase in strength. However, if we abide by the IMT doctrine where change (regarding people) is nearly impossible; no amount of clinical studies refuting the learning cycle will “change” the minds of IMT practitioners, where growing older and maintaining mental clarity is conceivable.

  6. Mark Huerta


    Yes, I couldn’t agree with this article more. I forget the exact numbers, but around the age of 25, our brain begins to deteriorate and on average people actually lose about 2.5 grams of brain mass per year. Obviously, these numbers fluctuate depending on how much you are stimulating your mind. I believe that people that generally as people grow older, their experiences lead them to greater understanding. Having greater understanding means having less personal bias, which leads to less emotion and more unfiltered information being processed by their brain. Although, they physically don’t have the capability to process information as fast, their minds are more open and not as much information is being blocked/distorted so they actually learn faster.

  7. Marlynn Radford-Brown


    Experience speeds up our learning cycle.
    the older we get, the more experience we earn.
    Physical ailments in the elderly do not mean they are dumb
    the more we are exposed to the cycle of society the faster we can recognize its patterns.
    an older mind has lesser biases
    an older mind processes information faster

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