Can an old brain learn?


It is believed that old people lose some  brain agility to learn. Is it just a belief? Or is it a grounded fact that cannot be denied?  Here are two articles that try to answer the question:

Am I past it?

While Scott Thornburry is trying to learn Spanish, he wonders whether age could affect negatively Second Language Acquisition. Speaking of his uncle’s motivation to learn languages, Scott states:

Nevertheless, the fact that his age was no deterrent should serve to encourage me, and allay my doubts that I might have left this present endeavor too late.  As motivated as I am, ‘at my back I always hear/Time’s wingéd chariot hurrying near’.  Do I seriously believe I can reconfigure my Spanish, aged 63? Is there any evidence to suggest that I can?

Here is the link to the article:

How to Train the Aging Brain

Barbara Strauch gives some elements of response about whether the human brain lose the capacity to learn. She states:

can an old brain learn, and then remember what it learns? Put another way, is this a brain that should be in school?

As it happens, yes. While it’s tempting to focus on the flaws in older brains, that inducement overlooks how capable they’ve become. Over the past several years, scientists have looked deeper into how brains age and confirmed that they continue to develop through and beyond middle age.

Many longheld views, including the one that 40 percent of brain cells are lost, have been overturned. What is stuffed into your head may not have vanished but has simply been squirreled away in the folds of your neurons.

Here is the link to the full article:


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