“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” –Henry Ford
Four hundred years after Ponce de Leon searched for the fabled Fountain of Youth, Henry Ford discovered its secret. Youth is not conferred by the waters of a mystical spring, but by a lifelong commitment to learning. In an article in the April 2012 “AARP Bulletin,” veteran journalist Bill Moyers shares his thoughts “On Not Growing Old.” Approaching his 80th birthday, the host of PBS’ weekly program “Moyers & Company,” talks with humor about his failed attempts to retire and the curiosity that keeps him working. Moyers says, “Retirement, I’ve heard, can be the enemy of longevity.”
Empirical evidence of the benefits of lifelong learning is now being proved scientifically. Using brain imagery to record brain activity, scientists are finding that new learning enhances cognitive development at any age and plays a role in generating new brain cells. One of the more interesting discoveries is that our brains do a learning flip-flop as we grow older. When we are young, repeating a task excites brain activity and increases cognitive fluency as learning is reinforced. As we age, our brain benefits less from repeated experience. Eventually our brains seem to become bored with repetition and brain activity slows. But feed a mature brain something new and our brains light up with activity.
Options for Life-Long Learning
Learning forces the brain to remain active and flexible. Like a muscle, we must use it or lose it. In the vibrant college town of Oberlin, Ohio, residents of Kendal at Oberlin enjoy a smorgasbord of constantly changing learning and artistic opportunities—a veritable feast guaranteed to keep the mind young!
Plus, anyone can keep their mind fit with Posit Science! This brain training software helps you understand your mind and keep it sharp. To learn more about Posit Science, contact Kendal at Home today.