His research, published in the January 2014 issue of Topics in Cognitive Science, argues that studies on memory ask the wrong questions. It could be that older, wiser heads are so chock full of knowledge that it simply takes longer to retrieve the right bits. (It's important to note that the research is aimed at healthy, aging brains, not those afflicted with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia, which rob the brain of memory and other abilities.)
There's no denying that older people have acquired more experience and information than younger people, says Denise Park, co-director of the Center for Vital Longevity at the University of Texas at Dallas, whose research focuses on how the mind changes and adapts as people age. "As we age we accrue knowledge, have a higher vocabulary score, and know more about the world," says Park. "There's a reason we don't have 20-year-olds running the world."
Her conclusion: "I strongly believe that our everyday performance does not decline with age." That's because as the ability to retrieve memories quickly declines, the brain is still building up stores of knowledge from which to draw.This all makes a lot of sense to me. Now, let's see, what was I saying?