In the 1940s, the celebrated G. H. Hardy wrote that mathematics “is a game for young people”. Something similar is thought about the capacity to learn: we only enjoy it in the first decades of life. But as several examples refute Hardy’s warning, numerous studies are giving way to the second claim.
“I do not know where that idea came from, but it’s a myth,” says Argentinean neuroscientist Roberto Cabeza, who works at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University, USA, precisely in memory and aging.
“There are factors that reduce the flexibility of the brain with age, but there are others that facilitate learning,” says Cabeza, who was in Buenos Aires to participate in the recent International Seminar on Aging, organized by the Italian Hospital. In addition, he added: “A well-known fact is that the recording of new information is much more effective when related knowledge exists and that it moderates the effects of age. It is true that the speed of cognitive processes decreases over the years, but as The experience increases … Within those areas where one specializes or has interest, such as hobbies, accumulated knowledge is more powerful than age. ” And he cites as an example that if someone who knows nothing about birds sees a bird and hears his name, he is likely to forget it very quickly; But he who has learned much about them can retain that information very quickly.