This is Stupid

The University of Virginia recently published the results of a study aimed at discovering when human mental abilities begin to decline.  They evaluated 2,000 well educated, healthy people ages 18-60 over a period of seven years, using visual puzzles, memory tests and pattern recognition.

The results?  Human cognition peaks at 22 and begins to noticibly decline at 27.

Hmmm… anything special about the magic age of 22?  Well, yes – that’s when most “well educated, healthy people” graduate college.  The average 22 year old will have spent the past 16 years in more or less full-time academic settings, challenging his or her mind daily.

Chances are at 27 that same person will have been removed from academia for 5 years (and anyone who has a “real” job can attest the professional world is not nearly as mentally stimulating as the academic – generally speaking).

What happens if you don’t exercise your body for five years?  Isn’t it reasonable to think the same might happen to the mind?  Thus, the study would need to evaluate three separate groups of people who have (1) high school degree only (2) undergraduate degree (3) graduate degree to prove mental abilities truly decline at 27 and the recent findings are not simply the result of 5 years of brain rot.

Education is a pretty huge variable not to account for in a cognitive study…

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