Businessinsider.com; It’s a saying favored by boomers and grandparents, a comeback beloved enough to make an appearance in New Yorker cartoons and on countless T-shirts: “I’ve forgotten more than you know.”
Now, a team of researchers at the University of Tübingen in Germany has offeredsome support for the idea that the slowed-down recall we associate with getting older may sometimes be a side effect of a mind that’s stuffed with decades of information — not a symptom of certain cognitive decline.
The findings are based on a series of computer simulations of learning and memory, not tests of actual people.
Skeptics abound. “This feel-good news that slowing of decisions on all tasks is not a defining symptom of progressive failure but an honourable distinction of an age-stocked mind has eagerly excited the media, but not researchers on cognitive aging,” wrote one such researcher.
Still, the recent study suggests a new model of the aging mind to investigate further — one that would offer considerable comfort to anyone who’s ever experienced a “senior moment.”
Older And Wiser
The basic idea is that “the larger the library you have in your head, the longer it usually takes to find a particular word,” Benedict Carey writes, in an article about the study in The New York Times.