As for writing, I still write – at age 72. My experience is that I have to strive harder, tire sooner and come apart at the seams more completely than was the case when I was younger. The aging mind has a bagful of nasty tricks, one of which is to tuck names and words away in crannies where they are not immediately available and where I can't always find them
There is often a mysterious growth of the mind, which we can trace to no particular efforts or studies, which we can hardly define, though we are conscious of it. We understand ourselves and the past, and our friends and the world better
These two quotations illustrate the tension that exists in the literature regarding age-related differences in intelligence across adulthood. The view that intelligence largely declines in adulthood has perhaps received the longest and most overwhelming support. Intelligence during adulthood is characterized by declines in the speed of mental processes, in abstract reasoning, and in several measures of memory performance (see Salthouse, 1991, for a review). However, much empirical and theoretical work characterizes adult intellectual development as being marked by progressive growth in the ability to integrate cognitive, interpersonal, and emotional thought so that the type of synthetic understanding of self and others that Channing spoke of is possible (see Labouvie-Vief, 1992, for a review).
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