Is 24 the new 50? The wheels in our head might start to slow down at the age of 24. The cognitive decline could begin at the age of 24, according to a new study published in the journal PLOS One.
In a 2014 study in the journal PLOS One, researchers from Simon Fraser University in Canada say that our brains start slowing down at that age. They studied 3,305 volunteers aged 16 to 44 years and had the participants do certain tasks, including concentration, juggling multiple tasks, and shifting their focus from immediate to long-term issues.
Volunteers between the ages of 16 and 44 play StarCraft 2, a real-time strategy video game. They were trying to gauge whether more years of experience compensated for the age-related decline, creating what they called “over-the-hill intuition.”
The study explains that the choice of StarCraft 2 was an important one since it required the participants to make a “myriad of dynamic adjustments in order to ensure the implementation of a larger plan.” While each player concentrated on multiple immediate tasks, they also formed a long-term strategy. When it came to overall performance on the game, the results were pretty predictable.
As TIME explains, “the speed with which the volunteers made decisions, and shifted between tasks, declined with age.” And the first signs of cognitive decline started at the ripe old age of 24.
Lead author of StarCraft 2, Joe Thompson said that this study does not tell how technology and the computerized world we live in affects our ability to compensate for declining motor skills. And some research shows that there are ways to improve cognitive skills by eating right, playing brain games, getting more sleep, and by keeping your body and brain active.
The results suggest that these cognitive functions do not remain still throughout a person’s adult life. Thompson also believes that they are in a constant state of flux and that daily performance results from a mix between adaptations and external changes
With these results drafted, brains begin to slow down at the age of 24. Do you agree with the results? Let us know in the comments below.