Mental speed is the speed at which we can deal with issues requiring rapid decision-making does not change substantially over decades. The findings of the new study suggest that the speed of cognitive information processing remains largely stable between the ages of 20 and 60, and only deteriorates at higher ages.
“The common assumption is that the older we get, the more slowly we react to external stimuli. If that were so, mental speed would be fastest at the age of about twenty and would then decline with increasing age,” says Dr von Krause
The analysis suggests that people’s mental speed increases in their 20s, and stays high until age 60. “Until older adulthood, the speed of information processing in the task we studied barely changes,” says von Krause.
“People become more cautious in their decisions with increasing age they try to avoid mistakes. At the same time, the motor processes the pressing of the response keys in an experiment slow down with increasing age.”