Key Found To Growing Smarter As You Grow Older.

In Brain Circuitry, Brain General Structure and Function, Brain Science by Brainy Days Ahead

What is the key to forestalling the “natural” cognitive decline that may be associated with old age? Researchers from the University of Oxford (UK), Minho (Portugal), Aarhus (Denmark) and Pompu Fabra (Spain) use fMRIs to examine the brain network activity (Functional Connectomes) of 100 healthy older Portguese adults. They find that participants with different levels of cognitive abilities displayed distinct patterns of brain activity. Poor performers were found to switch more erratically between different network configurations, whereas good performers were found to form and hold specific connectivity patterns for longer times and follow more structured network re-configurations. The results provide new evidence linking the switching dynamics of the Functional Connectome with cognitive performance in later life. Modern advances in medicine continue to increase life expectancy and extend our human limitations. We all hope our brains will keep pace with this advance and increasingly escape the aging process. This study shines light on the crtitcal cognitive abilities that can lead us to wisdom and sharper cognitive abilities in advanced age.