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With Age Comes Wisdom: Study
Date:4/5/2010

ed for their knowledge. It's only in western culture that we say the marketers no longer have an interest in you, jobs are harder to get and that you should want to retire and do nothing," Milner said. "The reality is we have all of this life experience that can be very valuable."

Changes in the brain that occur with aging might also help to explain the study findings, said S. Duke Han, an assistant professor of neuropsychology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Recent neuroimaging research has suggested that older adults use more of their frontal lobes on memory tasks than younger adults. The frontal lobes of the brain are generally thought to be key to abstract reasoning, problem solving, concept formation and multi-tasking, Han said.

"It could be that as older adults learn to use more of their frontal lobes to compensate for declines in other cognitive abilities, the greater use of the frontal lobes allows them to reason more fully about social conflicts," Han said.

More information

To learn more about the aging brain, visit the University of Southern California.



SOURCES: Richard Nisbett, Ph.D., professor of psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Colin Milner, chief executive officer, International Council on Active Aging, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; S. Duke Han, Ph.D., assistant professor of neuropsychology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago; April 5-9, 2010, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, online


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