We know too much

So you cannot remember where you just left your car keys? Are you having trouble recalling when you last called your daughter? How about trying to come up with the name of some who you knew in college or high school? Do you think that you're losing your mental edge as you age? Think again. Researchers at Tubingen University in Germany have a good answer. You know too much! Yes, that's right. The real reason you might feel absent-minded or think that you're losing your mind is because you have a lot of information stored in your head. The researchers liken this finding to how a computer operates. The more data that is stored on a computer's hard drive, the tougher it is for the machine to call up the information. These findings were included in the Journal of Topics in Cognitive Science.

Of course there is a difference between computers and humans. You can always add memory space to an existing computer - or you can rip out the existing computer's hard drive, scrap it, buy a new computer and store that old hard drive away. We humans are not so fortunate, but just imagine if there was a way that the medical community could add memory space to our brains. Indeed that is a dream, but the fact remains: as you age, you are taking up more brain space. So, now you can tell the smart aleck youngsters in your life that you just know too much so that's why it might take a bit to call up pertinent information in your vast personal yet natural database. 

For me, not only do I wish we could add more memory space to our brains, I wish we had delete function. I'm sure that most of us can say that we hold quite a bit of useless information in our heads. Head clutter is just like regular house clutter in which one goes to find that receipt that is needed only to sift a mountain of unneeded junk. One ends up finding everything he or she needs except that important receipt. It's just like that in life with a lot of mindless garbage info going in and very little of it leaving the mind. Do I really need to know who sings that song, "Call Me Maybe?" Well, I guess knowing that Carly Rae Jepsen is the artist being that classic keeps me "current," but I would like to be able to speak Mandarin or sit down with world leaders and negotiate a peace deal. Yes, I was told that it's never too late to learn new things like a language or mastering a government course, but it's tough on an aging mind. I just need an upgrade!

So the brains of aging folks do not get weak, the aging simply know a lot more. 


Most viewed

Condos. Cutting-edge restaurants. Trendy shopping.

Take time out for Virginia’s Shenandoah region

Flashback: Billy Joel's Sax Player (Mark Rivera profile-March 2007)