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Friday, October 5, 2007

Smarter Seniors - Study Says 74 Is The New 59

I knew that mental stimulation made a difference in mental functioning and an article titled "Today's Seniors Are Smarter" by Salynn Boyles at Web MD Medical News has good news. The subtitle says "Tests Suggest Less Mental Decline for Current Generation of Elderly." People today have more mental stimulation through mass media and popular culture. The average mental ability of someone 74 years old in the study was closer to someone 15 years younger in the earlier test group.

The study compared test scores of 74 year olds today with scores from 74 year olds 16 years ago. The 74 year olds today scored closer to the 59 year olds who were tested 16 years ago.

The study said this shows that people are more able to keep working beyond retirement age today.

The scientists concluded that the huge amounts of information we receive from television, movies, and other cultural sources are providing mental stimulation so we are "smarter."

The past 20 years have been times of such great change with the increase in the mass media and the internet.

As the baby boomer generation ages it will be interesting to follow the studies to see what the characteristics of the boomers will be in ten or twenty years.

Keeping the mind exercised and mentally stimulated is something we are all reading about a lot these days. This study provides additional encouragement for staying mentally active and keeping our environments enriched with learning opportunities.

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