In march I will be celebrating my 22nd birthday, and while I am not old by any means, I must admit that hearing that age makes it more difficult to learn starts to nag at my mind. But is it really harder to learn?
While science has shown us that brain loses some of its neurons in the process of aging, we also know that an active mind helps with keeping Alzheimers at bay. So what does this actually tell us?
The quote above, by John C. Maxwell is spot on. Also think about it like this:
As much as we know about the brains today, we hardly know anything; and I find that fact is very important to remember. If we know almost nothing, why give the “knowledge” of losing some neurons over time so much power? I would say that it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy if we just become stagnant because “learning becomes harder and slower etc.”
I would almost argue that it is easier to learn new things. Why, you ask?
Because while it might take longer to make the new information to stick, but it is easier to connect the new information to the older.
If you are 50 you probably have more information than me who is in their early twenties, thus you can make connections more easily between A, B and C. But in order for that to be the case, we have to keep learning, studying and being curious on the daily.
Sometimes the things that we “have” to learn aren’t interesting, but they help us evolve as learners, as they give us the possibility to make connections between new and old information. Plus it makes our brains work harder to keep up with the synaptic connections.
What is the most efficient way to learn? The article on Forbes (Originally on Quora) states that learning is easiest if we chunk the information. What does this mean? You take a confusing mix of information and form it into a clear “chunk” of information. The article gives you an example of a undone puzzle is mixed information and a chunked information is a finished puzzle.
The articles used for this post:
Article about aging and brain: https://www.canyonranch.com/blog/health/how-your-brain-changes-with-age/