Intelligence trainable during old age

Intelligence trainable during old ageHamburgĀ  - Intelligence can increase in old age and many pensioners are mentally fitter than 20-year-olds who do little to increase their mental faculties, according to psychologist Dr Siegfried Lehrl from the University of Erlangen in Germany.

Quoted by the women's weekly Brigitte, Lehrl said that especially the brain's capacity to gather knowledge and life experience increases over the years.

"Intelligence does not age. It develops," he said. Lehrl said recent research had surprised scientists when they found that a group of elderly people had a high level of activity compared to a group of young people who had performed well below the average at the same time.

The German magazine, Spectrum of Science, reported similar findings, saying that the speed and precision with which thought processes and problems were solved slowed down during old age while abilities related to knowledge and life experience could be maintained or increased over time.

The magazine, however, emphasized that intellectual abilities and cognitive processes developed differently with strong individual disparities, especially when it comes to maintaining abilities during old age. (dpa)