Age-related learning difficulties could be attributed to the fact that we simply run out of memory space.
Neuroscientists at the Medical College of Georgia conducted research which suggested that the brain of an older person is just as capable of creating strong synaptic connections as a younger person. Instead, the problems with memory as we age are more to do with our inability to weaken existing connections to free up the capacity for new ones.
"What our study suggests is that it’s not just the strengthening of connections, but the weakening of the other sets of connections that creates a holistic pattern of synaptic connectivity that is important for long-term memory formation," said study author Dr. Joe Z. Tsien.
"Learning becomes more difficult as we age not because we have trouble absorbing new information, but because we fail to forget the old stuff, researchers say."
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Source: New York Times
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