October 30, 2013
As much as it pains me to write this (I have a very strong sweet tooth), a recent article in Neurology has demonstrated that sugar has a negative impact on learning and other cognitive functions. The study found a strong link between high glucose levels and poor performance on memory tasks.
The authors note that even in the absence of diabetes, “chronically higher blood glucose levels exert a negative influence on cognition.” They add that “strategies aimed at lowering glucose levels even in the normal range may beneficially influence cognition in the older population.”
Despite this, I’ve been snacking on M&Ms while writing this.
April 4, 2011
Some recent research indicates that though there are some notable cognitive declines (primarily in memory and processing speed) following early adulthood, the impact of these declines are not all that significant. We often harshly judge our our memory skills and do so in a manner that is simply not very accurate. In fact, some studies are suggesting that despite these memory slips and cognitive slowing, our critical thinking, judgment and decision making improve so significantly with age (and experience) that it compensates for the cognitive losses. An example given was a study that compared reaction times of young pilots to more senior pilots: the younger pilots responded more quickly in simulation practices, but the senior pilots crashed less often.