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Medical Does the mind peak at a certain age?

  1. Nov 14, 2006 #1
    What are the prerequisites for great new scientific ideas? Intelligence and creativity? Assuming these two variables-feel free to add more if you wish-does the mind ever peak at a certain age in either of these two areas, be it physically or simply subjectively? It seems the true geniuses do their great work in their 20s. Assuming Einstein took an interest in physics in his 30s or even 40s or 50s could he have done the same things he did?
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  3. Nov 14, 2006 #2


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    Well, I'm 50 and getting smarter every day (thanks in no small part to PF). Integral has to scrape the dinosaur **** off of the clay tablet to read his birth certificate, and he seems to be doing okay.
  4. Nov 14, 2006 #3
    If we peak in our twenties, I'm past my prime-rib and am just aging-steak... which is still tasty. :biggrin:

    There's a few factors I'm seriously thinking here...
    Our health care and our nutrition is better... We now live longer and maybe that'll move the peak out to higher ages if there is such a thing (for geniuses... I was always dumb-as-doornails :yuck: ).
    Mass media / consumerism might dumb us down sooner. Boredom likely does wonders for motivating us to use what brains/creativity we have.
  5. Nov 15, 2006 #4


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    As far as IQ, you are said to peak from 12 to 14 years of age. But I don't believe in that. I peaked early but I suffered at age 14 from possible brain damage from a temperature of 105 F for three days in a hospital and was unconscious the whole time. The doctor told my parents, the good news is that she's testing normal, so no brain damage. The bad news is that I wasn't normal before. :frown: My mental capacity, my ability for photographic memory was greatly diminished from that point on.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2006
  6. Nov 15, 2006 #5
    No help here.
  7. Nov 15, 2006 #6


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    Well, then go do a google search.

    Here's some more about it, but if you're looking for something else, you should do your own search.

    http://www.albion.edu/psychology/fac_psyc/jwilson/psy101/intell.htm [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  8. Nov 15, 2006 #7


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    i think my intelligence (IQ) peaked at about 15 years of age, but my willingness to make good use of it increased for about 50 more years, so my success went way up afterwards, although it got harder.

    e.g. in college i was proud of getting only a D in a math class when i had not atended any classes or read any of the book, just by psyching out a couple of problems on the test. maybe a D when you deserve an F is proof of raw intelligence, but it is also proof of foolishness par excellence.

    much later with far fewer functioning brain cells i published research in algebraic geometry and obtained nsf grants. it aint about ego and games, but honest productivity.
  9. Nov 17, 2006 #8
    In the article you send link for stands that IQ reaches peak somewhere in 20s.Therefore ,not from 12 to 14 years of age.
    I'm not an expert but currently I'm dating one :smile:
    She says that "fluid intelligence" peaks somewhere between age 16-20 ,and overall in mid 20s.Depends on an individual.
    "Cristalized" intelligence may increase during entire lifetime,depending on what are u doing with your gray matter.
    Overall intelligence usually slowly decreases after 30s however.

    Last edited: Nov 17, 2006
  10. Nov 17, 2006 #9


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    Ask your date if she is aware the "fluid/crystalized" approach is somewhat controversial.

    I believe the current take on g and its development is that there is a "childhood" g which is sensitive to environment and probably associated with language development. It fades toward puberty and is overtaken by "adult" g which is more driven by heredity and which plateaus in the late twenties or thirties.

    This view is partly based on the many "head-start" type initiatives, which were so successful for the children but whose good effects did not survive into the later teens.
  11. Nov 17, 2006 #10


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    It's been awhile since I read the study but I believe the 12-14 year old peak was in reference to "child geniuses", but I don't know how valid that is. Normal IQ would peak around 20. I realized I didn't make that clear.
  12. Nov 18, 2006 #11


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    But IQ wouldn't drop with age would it? I thought it was more of a plateau.
  13. Nov 18, 2006 #12


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    I beleive that IQ is strongly correlated to stimulation. As we grow older, many of us just don't do as much learning as we did when we were young. Those that do, will have higher IQs.

    i.e. use it or lose it.
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