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It’s tempting to believe that it is solely a youngster’s world; by using every new way of doing things, every new device invented every new trend in pop culture, the maturing population gets put aside.
If your neuroscience shall be believed then your aging amongst us continue to have plenty to contribute, apart from the occasional word of wisdom, old expression, and birthday gifts to grandchildren!
In fact, aging brains needs to be a valued asset in most works of life – including business – which is particularly important since the retirement creeps up.
Growing older within the brain
Conventional wisdom has always suggested that as we grow older, our minds decline. We certainly be a little more prone to forgetfulness plus a difficulty in focusing, as well as atrophy, or decrease of brain volume. This does impair the ability to concentrate making good decisions.
But cognitive neuroscience can use advanced scanning and imaging to color a clearer picture of what is going on in your brains as our bodies age; these methods allow neuroscientists to trace closely how are you affected within the brain during particular activities along with the neuro-imaging data reveals patterns of change as people age.
The study shows that scientists could possibly have under-estimated the effectiveness of the fermentation brain.
As opposed to dealing with a gradual decline as we get older, mental performance retains some ‘plasticity’ or ‘malleability’; this essentially implies that our brain can easily still form new neural pathways and ‘reorganise’ itself, recruiting different areas of the brain to execute different tasks. This was previously considered to be possible limited to younger brains.
Research by Angela Gutchess, published in Science magazine in October 2014 said these:
"Cognitive neuroscience has revealed aging from the mental faculties to get abundant in reorganization and modify. Neuroimaging results have recast our framework around cognitive aging in one of decline to a single emphasizing plasticity… thus starting to find out that aging from the brain, amidst interrelated behavioral and biological changes, is really as complex and idiosyncratic because the brain itself, qualitatively changing within the lifespan."
Implications for organisations
The maturing mind is more flexible than any other time thought; we can learn new ideas, form new habits, and change behaviour; there’s no reason therefore that individuals can’t promote and be associated with change as an alternative to merely get swept along by it as we get older.
The secrets appears to lie in providing stimulating environments, we all know that even aging brains respond positively right external stimulation.
Are senior employees really stuck inside their ways? Can they reap the benefits of training, motivation, and stimulation just as much as new employees? Perhaps you CAN teach an old dog new tricks?
Some evidence in tests on rodents implies that new learning which stimulates environments improve the survival of new neurons in the brain. This might have far-reaching implications to the environments that people expose seniors to, and still provide cause of consideration regarding their roles in organisations.
As well as retaining the possibility to alter and adapt, aging brains involve some other advantages over youthful brains.
A US study by Heather L. Urry and James J. Gross recently established that aging brains be more effective able to regulate and control emotions for example:
"Older age is normatively connected with losses in physical, cognitive, and social domains. Despite these losses, seniors often report higher levels of well-being compared to younger adults. How can we explain this enhancement of well-being? Specifically, we propose that seniors achieve well-being by selecting and optimizing particular emotion regulation methods to atone for modifications in external and internal resources."
So even when cognitive decline does happen in old age, there is the potential of great results in social and emotional areas that you should valued and harnessed by organisations.
Instead of concentrating on what we lose as our bodies age, including hearing, vision, and cognitive ability, perhaps we should instead investigate much more about the great results of getting older. Since the the age of retirement increases inside the long term, this may be essential!
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