Getting Older Sharpens The Mind

Yesterday, I wrote about the power of positive emotions and how they can delay the aging process naturally in relation to a study about joy and humor and the ability to see life's "bigger picture." I came across another study this morning that I believe ties both in a huge way. Researchers have found youth doesn't always triumph over age. Fact is, the aging process actually improves certain abilities, according to the study. Older people appear to be better and faster at grasping the big picture than their younger counterparts.

Using computer-generated stimuli, scientists monitored how much time subjects needed to process information about the direction in which a set of bars moved. When the bars were small, or projected in low contrast, younger subjects took less time to see the direction of motion. But, when the bars were larger, and in high contrast, older subjects outperformed the younger ones.

These results go beyond the "odd case" of older people merely having better vision than younger people, however, because it may say something about how aging affects the way signals are processed in the brain, researchers said. The implication: The ability of one older brain cell to inhibit another is reduced. It's that kind of mental acuity that allows older people to really see the larger picture, while younger people have more inhibited brains that only see the big things. I believe this clarity of vision comes from a positive place deep within us that works in concert with our body to promote better health.

If you're having trouble with the details, I strongly recommend learning the Emotional Freedom Technique, the energy psychology tool I use in my practice every day. This noninvasive tool will help sharpen your mind and promote improved physical health.

Science Blog February 3, 2005

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