It’s tempting to believe it is solely a youngster’s world; by using every new strategy for doing things, every new device invented each new trend in popular culture, the aging population gets left behind.
If your neuroscience is to be believed then a aging amongst us have plenty to contribute, aside from the occasional word of wisdom, old expression, and birthday gifts to grandchildren!
The truth is, aging brains must be a valued asset in every works of life – including business – which is particularly important since the retirement age creeps up.
Growing older within the brain
The usual understanding has always suggested that as our bodies age, our mind decline. We certainly be vunerable to memory loss as well as a difficulty in focusing, as well as atrophy, or loss of brain volume. This does impair to be able to think clearly and earn good decisions.
But cognitive neuroscience is able to use advanced scanning and imaging to color a clearer picture of what is happening in your brains as we grow older; these methods allow neuroscientists to track closely how are you affected in the brain during particular activities and also the neuro-imaging data reveals patterns of change as people age.
Your research shows that scientists may have under-estimated the effectiveness of the aging brain.
Rather than under-going a gradual decline as our bodies age, your brain retains some ‘plasticity’ or ‘malleability’; this essentially signifies that our brain can continue to form new neural pathways and ‘reorganise’ itself, recruiting different parts of the brain to execute different tasks. This is previously viewed as possible simply for younger brains.
A report by Angela Gutchess, published in Science magazine in October 2014 said the next:
“Cognitive neuroscience has revealed aging in the brain to get abundant in reorganization and change. Neuroimaging results have recast our framework around cognitive aging in one of decline to at least one emphasizing plasticity… thus starting to find out that aging with the brain, amidst interrelated behavioral and biological changes, is as complex and idiosyncratic because brain itself, qualitatively changing in the expected life.”
Implications for organisations
The aging human brain is much more flexible than previously thought; we could learn new ideas, form new habits, and change behaviour; there isn’t any reason therefore that we can’t promote and become involved with change as opposed to merely get swept along about it as we grow older.
The key usually lie in providing stimulating environments, as you may know that even aging brains respond positively right external stimulation.
Are senior employees really stuck within their ways? Are they going to take advantage of training, motivation, and stimulation just as much as new employees? You may teach a classic dog new tricks?
Some evidence in tests on rodents demonstrates new learning which stimulates environments improve the survival of new neurons from the brain. This might have far-reaching implications for that environments we expose the elderly to, and provide basis for consideration with regards to their roles in organisations.
Along with retaining the possibility to improve and adapt, aging brains incorporate some other advantages over more youthful brains.
A US study by Heather L. Urry and James J. Gross recently revealed that aging brains be more effective capable of regulate and control emotions for example:
“Older age is normatively connected with losses in physical, cognitive, and social domains. Despite these losses, older adults often report higher amounts of well-being compared to younger adults. Exactly how should we explain this enhancement of well-being? Specifically, we advise that seniors achieve well-being by selecting and optimizing particular emotion regulation processes to compensate for modifications in external and internal resources.”
So regardless of whether cognitive decline does occur in senior years, you will find the potential of great results in social and emotional areas that ought to be valued and harnessed by organisations.
As opposed to focusing on what we should lose as we grow older, for example hearing, vision, and cognitive ability, perhaps we must investigate more details on the results of getting older. Since the retirement increases in the coming years, this could be extremely important!
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