Over 24? It's Official — You're Getting Old

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Clutter_2Illustrated By Ammiel Mendoza.
From Fit Brains to Lumosity, it seems like every day brings a questionable new app that promises to keep your brain sharp well into old age. Still, we've always thought of ourselves as a bit too, shall we say, youthful to be wasting valuable Instagram time on geriatric brain games. Come on, isn't it too soon to be having "senior moments" all over the place?

Apparently not. If the results of a new study are to be believed, most of us are already over the hill when it comes to brain function. The study tested 3,305 men and women, ages 16 to 44, by having them play StarCraft 2, a "ruthless competitive intergalactic computer war game that players often undertake to win serious money."

Researchers found that subjects over the age of 24 "show slowing in a measure of cognitive speed that is known to be important for performance." Specifically, subjects older than 24 showed more sluggish response times than younger subjects.

But, the study also suggested that age brings its own cognitive advantages — which sometimes compensate for the decline in performance speed. For instance, older players were more likely than their younger counterparts to use shortcuts and other time-saving strategies. That doesn't cheer us up much, though; we're mildly horrified to learn that our brains are already sloooooowly slowing down. Maybe it's time to hit those brain-trainer apps after all. (Time)