This interview with a brain science author confirms that middle-aged brains are plain smarter than teen or even young adult brains. They have more and stronger connections, more perspective, and just plain more data in them from which to arrive at better decisions faster.
Less obvious and perhaps more interesting were some tips on how to maximize your brain power through middle age:
Exercise is hands-down the surest way to improve your brain and grow new brain cells.
Those Brain Age style puzzles don’t help that much. Unless your goal is to get really good at puzzles.
Social interaction helps keep your brain sharp.
And exposing yourself to diverse views and opinion strengthens your reasoning abilities and connections in your brain. Which confirms my hypothesis that talk radio and news commentary channels rot your brain.
It also makes me feel better about my aging strategy of becoming more eccentric — by acquiring odd hobbies and cultural interests — as I age. I just need to ramp up the excercise as well.