handshake is over. We shrug and nervously reassure ourselves that our brains' "hard drives" are just too full to handle the barrage of new information that comes in daily.An analysis in MedicalXpress. More Here
According to a Johns Hopkins neuroscientist, however, the real trouble is that our aging brains are unable to process this information as "new" because the brain pathways leading to the hippocampus -- the area of the brain that stores memories -- become degraded over time. As a result, our brains cannot accurately "file" new information (like where we left the car that particular morning), and confusion results.
"Our research uses brain imaging techniques that investigate both the brain's functional and structural integrity to demonstrate that age is associated with a reduction in the hippocampus's ability to do its job, and this is related to the reduced input it is getting from the rest of the brain," said Michael Yassa, assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences in Johns Hopkins' Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. "As we get older, we are much more susceptible to 'interference' from older memories than we are when we are younger."
In other words, when faced with an experience similar to what it has encountered before, such as parking the car, our brain tends to recall old information it already has stored instead of filing new information and being able to retrieve that. The result? You can't find your car immediately and find yourself wandering the parking lot.