If you're someone who thinks they can't possibly be as old as their driver license indicates, you may have a healthier brain. According to a new study, people who feel younger than their age are more likely to have healthier brains.
There are many mysteries about the brain that neuroscientists just can't figure out, for example, Alzheimer's. The brain is one of the most complicated organs in the world. One thing that neuroscientists think they have figured out is what certain hemispheres of the brain are responsible for.
Since there has been a lot of false information about the brain circulating lately, you may not know what to believe. One thing we know to be true is how important it is to keep your brain young and healthy. There are certain exercises that you can do to slow down the effects of aging.
New research shows that your mindset can also have a powerful effect on the way that your brain ages. This study was conducted by Jeanyung Chey from Seoul National University in Korea. She wanted to research the link between subjective and real brain age. She studied a group of 68 people aged anywhere from 59 to 84 years.
During this study, Chey performed MRI scans on the research participants and then analyzed the amount of grey matter in various areas of the brain. Chey had the research participants fill out a questionnaire. The questions were created to find out how old they were and how old they actually felt. The participants were also asked about their cognitive abilities and perceived health.
The study found that the participants who said that they felt younger than their age were more likely to score higher on a memory test. These participants also considered themselves to be more healthy and were less likely to be depressed. The results from the MRI scans showed that the participants who felt younger than their age had increased grey matter volume in the inferior frontal gyrus and the superior temporal gyrus. These areas of the brain are responsible for language, speech, and sound.
"We found that people who feel younger have the structural characteristics of a younger brain," said Chey. "Importantly, this difference remains robust even when other possible factors, including personality, subjective health, depressive symptoms, or cognitive functions, are accounted for."
The researchers are not 100% sure that younger brain characteristics determine someone's subjective age, however, they do believe that people who feel older may be more aware of the aging process of their brains.
"If somebody feels older than their age, it could be a sign for them to evaluate their lifestyle," said Chey.
Another theory the researchers have is that people who feel younger participate in more physical and mental activity. This may improve their brain health because they are living a more stimulating life. The participants who feel older than their age may have stopped living up to their full potential. Because they are a certain age, they may have stopped themselves from being active, which impacts their cognitive abilities.