Memory impairment in the elderly is usually associated with age-related changes in the body — with physiological changes in the central nervous system, symptoms of various brain diseases or other causes.
Canadian scientists from the Rotman Research Institute in Baycrest decided to find out exactly how memory works in older people and what are its main features. Research and observations have been conducted for more than 20 years.
Scientists claim that the elderly store too much knowledge in their brain, and this leads to a “clutter” of memories. As a result, the elderly, unlike the young, have problems with remembering some specific information.
In ordinary life, people suppress some of the incoming information if it does not relate to an important current task. For example, when we drive a car, we focus completely on the road, without being particularly distracted by the landscape. Scientists have found that with age, it is more difficult for a person to block such information flows, and his memory simply becomes overloaded and works worse.
Scientists say that older people have difficulties when they try to remember some specific detail. Because in their brain, this detail is connected to many other similar details.
“Imagine that you know five people named John and are trying to remember the last name of a particular John. It will be more difficult than if you only knew one person named John. About the same thing happens when older people try to remember certain details,” explains study author Lynn Hasher.