Contact Us

Being Highly-Educated Could Slow the Brain’s Aging Process


Can education help keep our brains in good shape as we age? Some researchers say it can.

The latest issue of Education Life reports that for those in midlife and beyond, having a college degree seems to slow the brain’s aging process by up to a decade, which could add a new element to the cost-benefit analysis of higher education.

Many researchers believe that human intelligence or brainpower is made up of dozens of various cognitive skills, which are commonly divided into two categories — “fluid intelligence” and “crystallized intelligence.” Fluid intelligence involves the kind of intelligence tested on I.Q. exams and tends to peak when we’re in our 20s. Crystallized intelligence includes skills acquired throughout life experience and education, like verbal ability, inductive reasoning and judgment.

Studies conducted on more than 7,000 people 25 to 74 years old by Margie E. Lachman, a psychologist at Brandeis University who specializes in aging, found the more years of school people have, the better they tend to perform on mental tests when they’re older.

Up to age 75, “people with college degrees performed on complex tasks like less-educated individuals who were 10 years younger.”

Education was also associated with a longer life and decreased risk of dementia. “The effects of education are dramatic and long term,” Dr. Lachman said.

Best of WFNT

Recommended for You

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Please solve this simple math problem to prove that you are a real person.

Sign up for WFNT Treasure Trove quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive WFNT Treasure Trove contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.