Effects of Aging on Cognitive Development

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Effects of Aging on Cognitive Development Daphney Walker PSYCH/640 May 5, 2014 Holly Berry Effects of Aging on Cognitive Development Aging is a natural process of life however, studies show that there are some age-related decline in cognitive development. As a person grows older some brain cell dies, shrink, or weaken and cause some decline in brain functions. Some cognitive processes include attention, working memory, long-term memory, perception, and executive control. The material will explain the effect of aging on cognitive development by providing scholarly research proof. Cognitive Development Cognition is the process by which human beings learn about the world and the objects in it and also understand the relationship…show more content…
According to Blanchard-Fields (2005, p. 539), “These declines occur in a number of cognitive functions such as sensory functions, working memory, attention and executive abilities that tax deliberative, effortful information processing.” Theories suggest that brain cells development reaches its peak in the late twenties and memory is thought to peak when brain weight peaks and then degenerate slowly in the thirties. The brain weight begins a gradual and progressive shrinking that causes impulses to travel more slowly which cause a decrease in reaction time (Blanchard-Fields, 2005). A study was carried out by Finkel, Reynolds, McArdle, Gatz, & Pedersen, (2003), and the findings were that adults’ fluid intelligence, which refers to the individual’s capabilities such as abstraction, problem-solving, associative memory, and inductive reasoning may diminish slightly after adolescence. Crystallized intelligence, which refers to skills such as verbal comprehension and word relationship might increase because of learning and experience as people gets older. “Measures of crystallized ability demonstrated stable or increasing levels of performance for middle age. For highly speeded task decline occurred at age 65” (Finkel, Reynolds, McArdle, Gatz, & Pedersen, 2003, p. 547). Reaction time or speed of performance seems to differ with individuals and can either diminish or remain the same. Memory is maintained through young and middle
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