The Reading / Listening - Brain Power and Age - Level 6

Scientists in Germany have cast doubt on a previously believed assumption that the processing speed of our brain starts to decline from the age of 20. Until now, it has been thought that our cognition level peaks when we are 20 and declines thereafter. Lead researcher doctor Mischa von Krause, of Heidelberg University, offered hope to older people who worry about increasing forgetfulness or reduced brain power. He said cognitive skills were still powerful at the age of 60 and do not diminish before then. He wrote: "Our finding is encouraging, as our results show that average levels in mental speed in contexts demanding fast and forced decisions do not decline until relatively late in the lifespan."

The study was based on data from over 1.1 million people, aged between 10 and 80 years old. The results show that our mental processing speed remains relatively constant until the age of 60, but does start to decline from our seventh decade. The researchers said people's mental processing speed actually increases in their 20s and remains high until 60. Dr von Krause said: "Until older adulthood, the speed of information processing in the task we studied barely changed." He added that older people do take longer to make decisions, but said this was because we become more cautious, and less impulsive and reckless as we age. The study could cast light on neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Brain Power and Age - Level 4  or  Brain Power and Age - Level 5

Sources
  • https://www.theguardian.com/science/2022/feb/17/brains-do-not-slow-down-until-after-age-of-60-study-finds
  • https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-02-human-brain-doesnt.html
  • https://www.newscientist.com/article/2308810-your-brain-doesnt-slow-down-until-your-60s-later-than-we-thought/


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice activities, drag and drop activities, sentence jumbles, which word activities, text reconstructions, spelling, gap fills and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)

Warm-ups

1. BRAIN POWER: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about brain power. Change partners often and share your findings.
2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, talk about these topics or words from the article. What will the article say about them? What can you say about these words and your life?
       scientists / doubt / processing speed / age / forgetfulness / skill / decline / lifespan /
       data / 80 years old / decade / mental / adulthood / decisions / cautious / impulsive
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. EXERCISE: Students A strongly believe we need to do daily exercises to keep or brain healthy; Students B strongly believe this is not necessary. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. BRAIN HELP: How can these things help our brain?  What do you do? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

How Helpful?

What You Do

Sleep

 

 

Studying

 

 

Exercise

 

 

Food

 

 

Laughter

 

 

Reducing stress

 

 

MY e-BOOK
ESL resource book with copiable worksheets and handouts - 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers / English teachers
See a sample

5. DECLINE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "decline". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. BRAIN: Rank these with your partner. Put the best things for our brain at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • Crossword puzzles
  • Keeping busy
  • Chocolate
  • Studying English
  • Sleeping
  • Music
  • Painting
  • Hiking

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. cast doubt on a. Positive and giving hope for future success.
      2. assumption b. A thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof.
      3. decline c. The mental action or process of getting knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.
      4. cognition d. Expressed a feeling of uncertainty about.
      5. peak e. The length of time for which a person or animal lives or a thing functions.
      6. encouraging f. (typically of something regarded as good) becoming smaller, fewer, or less.
      7. lifespan g. Reach a highest point, either of a specified value or at a specified time.

    Paragraph 2

      8. relatively h. Only just.
      9. constant i. A piece of work to be done or undertaken.
      10. task j. Acting or done without thinking about it beforehand.
      11. barely k. In relation, comparison, or proportion to something else.
      12. cautious l. Occurring continuously over a period of time.
      13. impulsive m. Not thinking of danger or the consequences of one's actions.
      14. reckless n. Careful to avoid potential problems or dangers.

 

Before reading / listening

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if 1-8 below are true (T) or false (F).

  1. Scientists believed brain power starts to decrease from the age of 30.     T / F
  2. A doctor from a university in Munich led the research.     T / F
  3. The doctor told people not to worry about forgetfulness.     T / F
  4. The doctor said cognitive skills do not diminish before we are 60.     T / F
  5. Research was done on over a million people.     T / F
  6. The doctor said older people take longer to make decisions.     T / F
  7. The doctor said older people are more reckless.     T / F
  8. The research will probably not help to understand brain diseases.     T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

  1. doubt
  2. assumption
  3. cognition
  4. hope
  5. decline
  6. data
  7. constant
  8. remains
  9. barely
  10. cast
  1. hardly
  2. reasoning
  3. statistics
  4. continuous
  5. belief
  6. stays
  7. optimism
  8. throw
  9. uncertainty
  10. reduce

3. PHRASE MATCH: (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

  1. cast doubt on a previously
  2. our brain starts to decline
  3. our cognition level
  4. people who worry about increasing
  5. relatively late in the
  6. our mental processing speed remains
  7. the task we studied
  8. older people do take longer
  9. less impulsive and
  10. cast light on neurodegenerative
  1. forgetfulness
  2. reckless as we age
  3. lifespan
  4. barely changed
  5. peaks when we are 20
  6. diseases
  7. believed assumption
  8. relatively constant
  9. from the age of 20
  10. to make decisions

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
decline
hope
contexts
cast
then
lifespan
peaks
reduced

Scientists in Germany have (1) _____________________ doubt on a previously believed assumption that the processing speed of our brain starts to (2) _____________________ from the age of 20. Until now, it has been thought that our cognition level (3) _____________________ when we are 20 and declines thereafter. Lead researcher doctor Mischa von Krause, of Heidelberg University, offered (4) _____________________ to older people who worry about increasing forgetfulness or (5) _____________________ brain power. He said cognitive skills were still powerful at the age of 60 and do not diminish before (6) _____________________. He wrote: "Our finding is encouraging, as our results show that average levels in mental speed in (7) _____________________ demanding fast and forced decisions do not decline until relatively late in the (8) _____________________."

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
remains
based
light
barely
decade
impulsive
constant
decisions

The study was (9) _____________________ on data from over 1.1 million people, aged between 10 and 80 years old. The results show that our mental processing speed remains relatively (10) _____________________ until the age of 60, but does start to decline from our seventh (11) _____________________. The researchers said people's mental processing speed actually increases in their 20s and (12) _____________________ high until 60. Dr von Krause said: "Until older adulthood, the speed of information processing in the task we studied (13) _____________________ changed." He added that older people do take longer to make (14) _____________________, but said this was because we become more cautious, and less (15) _____________________ and reckless as we age. The study could cast (16) _____________________ on neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  Scientists in Germany have cast doubt on a ______
     a.  previously relieved assumption
     b.  previously enlivened assumption
     c.  previously aggrieved assumption
     d.  previously believed assumption
2)  the processing speed of our brain starts to decline from the ______
     a.  aged of 20
     b.  ages of 20
     c.  age of 20
     d.  gauge of 20
3)  it has been thought that our cognition level peaks when we are 20 ______
     a.  and declines thereafter
     b.  and declines there after
     c.  and declines their after
     d.  and declines their afters
4)  cognitive skills were still powerful at the age of 60 and do not ______
     a.  deem in ash before them
     b.  dim finish before then
     c.  diminish before them
     d.  diminish before then
5)  fast and forced decisions do not decline until relatively late ______
     a.  on the lifespan
     b.  in the lifespan
     c.  end the lifespan
     d.  and the lifespan

6)  The results show that our mental processing speed ______
     a.  remains relative constant
     b.  remains relatively constant
     c.  remains relatively constants
     d.  remains relatively constantly
7)  people's mental processing speed actually increases in their 20s ______
     a.  and remains highs
     b.  and remains highly
     c.  and remains high
     d.  and remains height
8)  Until older adulthood, the speed of information processing in the task we ______
     a.  studied bear rich changed
     b.  studied bare leech tinged
     c.  studied bared the change
     d.  studied barely changed
9)  this was because we become more cautious, and less ______
     a.  impulsive and wreck less
     b.  impulsive and reckless
     c.  impulsive and wreak less
     d.  impulsive and rock less
10)  The study could cast light on neurodegenerative diseases ______
     a.  such was Alzheimer's
     b.  such as Alzheimer's
     c.  such has Alzheimer's
     d.  such is Alzheimer's

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Scientists in Germany have (1) ____________________ a previously believed assumption that the processing speed of our brain starts to decline from the age of 20. Until now, it has been thought that (2) ____________________ peaks when we are 20 and declines thereafter. Lead researcher doctor Mischa von Krause, of Heidelberg University, (3) ____________________ older people who worry about increasing forgetfulness or reduced brain power. He said cognitive skills were (4) ____________________ the age of 60 and do not diminish before then. He wrote: "Our finding is encouraging, as (5) ____________________ that average levels in mental speed in contexts demanding fast and forced decisions do not decline until (6) ____________________ the lifespan."

The study was (7) ____________________ from over 1.1 million people, aged between 10 and 80 years old. The results show that our mental processing (8) ____________________ constant until the age of 60, but does start to decline from our seventh decade. The researchers said people's mental processing speed actually increases in their 20s (9) ____________________ until 60. Dr von Krause said: "Until older adulthood, the speed of information processing (10) ____________________ we studied barely changed." He added that older people do take longer to make decisions, but said this was because we (11) ____________________, and less (12) ____________________ as we age. The study could cast light on neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Comprehension questions

  1. When did scientists think our brain started to decline?
  2. Who is Mischa von Krause?
  3. Who might this research offer hope to?
  4. When did a doctor say our cognitive skills are still powerful?
  5. What did a doctor say about his finding?
  6. On how many people did researchers look at data?
  7. How old were the people looked at in the research?
  8. What did a doctor say happened to processing speed in a task?
  9. Who did a doctor say becomes more cautious?
  10. What could this research shed light on?

Multiple choice quiz

1) When did scientists think our brain started to decline?
a) from the age of 30
b) from the age of 50
c) from the age of 20
d) from the age of 60
2) Who is Mischa von Krause?
a) the lead researcher
b) a patient
c) a journalist
d) a puzzle maker
3) Who might this research offer hope to?
a) researchers
b) people worried about forgetfulness
c) doctors
d) people over 100
4) When did a doctor say our cognitive skills are still powerful?
a) at the age of 40
b) at the age of 20
c) at the age of 50
d) at the age of 60
5) What did a doctor say about his finding?
a) it was magical
b) it was interesting
c) it was encouraging
d) more was needed

6) On how many people did researchers look at data?
a) under 1.1 million
b) over 1.1 million
c) around 1.1 million
d) exactly 1.1 million
7) How old were the people looked at in the research?
a) between 20 and 80
b) between 10 and 60
c) between 20 and 60
d) between 10 and 80
8) What did a doctor say happened to processing speed in a task?
a) it increased a lot
b) it barely changed
c) nothing
d) it became erratic
9) Who did a doctor say becomes more cautious?
a) doctors
b) older people
c) people in their 20s
d) patients
10) What could this research shed light on?
a) neurodegenerative diseases
b) the brain
c) memory skills
d) how to increase intelligence

Role play

Role  A – Chocolate
You think chocolate is the best thing for the brain. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why): studying English, music or hiking.

Role  B – Studying English
You think studying English is the best thing for the brain. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why): chocolate, music or hiking.

Role  C – Music
You think music is the best thing for the brain. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why): studying English, chocolate or hiking.

Role  D – Hiking
You think hiking is the best thing for the brain. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why): studying English, music or chocolate.

After reading / listening

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words...

'brain'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'mental'.

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • • Share your findings with your partners.

    • Make questions using the words you found.

    • Ask your partner / group your questions.

    2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

    •Share your questions with other classmates / groups. •Ask your partner / group your questions.

    3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

    4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

    5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

    • doubt
    • starts
    • hope
    • powerful
    • results
    • fast
    • data
    • remains
    • seventh
    • older
    • decisions
    • light

    Student survey

    Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

    (Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

    Discussion - Brain Power and Age

    STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

    1. What did you think when you read the headline?
    2. What images are in your mind when you hear the word 'mental'?
    3. What do you think of the brain?
    4. What do you think of your brain power?
    5. Do you think you use your brain effectively?
    6. Would you prefer to keep your brain active or relaxed?
    7. Do you worry about your brain slowing down?
    8. How forgetful are you?
    9. Would you say that your brain is powerful?
    10. When is the most active your brain has been?

    STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

    1. Did you like reading this article? Why/not?
    2. What do you think of when you hear the word 'brain'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. What do you know about the brain?
    5. What do you do to look after your brain?
    6. Do you take a long time to make decisions?
    7. What reckless things have you done?
    8. How impulsive are you?
    9. What do you know about neurodegenerative diseases?
    10. What questions would you like to ask the researchers?

    Discussion — Write your own questions

    STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

    (a) ________________

    (b) ________________

    (c) ________________

    (d) ________________

    (e) ________________

    STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

    (f) ________________

    (g) ________________

    (h) ________________

    (i) ________________

    (j) ________________

    Language — Cloze (Gap-fill)

    Scientists in Germany have cast doubt (1) ____ a previously believed assumption that the processing speed of our brain starts to (2) ____ from the age of 20. Until now, it has been thought that our cognition level peaks when we are 20 and declines (3) ____. Lead researcher doctor Mischa von Krause, of Heidelberg University, offered hope to older people who worry about increasing forgetfulness or (4) ____ brain power. He said cognitive skills were still powerful at the age of 60 and do not diminish before then. He wrote: "Our finding is encouraging, (5) ____ our results show that average levels in mental speed in contexts demanding fast and forced decisions do not decline until (6) ____ late in the lifespan."

    The study was (7) ____ on data from over 1.1 million people, aged between 10 and 80 years old. The results show that our mental processing speed remains relatively (8) ____ until the age of 60, but does start to decline from our seventh decade. The researchers said people's mental processing speed actually increases (9) ____ their 20s and remains high until 60. Dr von Krause said: "Until older adulthood, the speed of information processing in the task we studied (10) ____ changed." He added that older people do take longer to make decisions, but said this was because we become more cautious, and less impulsive and reckless as we (11) ____. The study could cast (12) ____ on neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     as     (b)     by     (c)     at     (d)     on    
    2. (a)     recline     (b)     incline     (c)     cline     (d)     decline    
    3. (a)     furthermore     (b)     thereafter     (c)     moreover     (d)     afterthought    
    4. (a)     smallish     (b)     dramatic     (c)     reduced     (d)     alter    
    5. (a)     as     (b)     has     (c)     is     (d)     was    
    6. (a)     relatively     (b)     relative     (c)     relativity     (d)     reality    
    7. (a)     biased     (b)     basted     (c)     blasted     (d)     based    
    8. (a)     constant     (b)     consequence     (c)     same     (d)     whole    
    9. (a)     at     (b)     in     (c)     on     (d)     of    
    10. (a)     alternately     (b)     concomitantly     (c)     barely     (d)     flourishingly    
    11. (a)     old     (b)     years     (c)     age     (d)     olden    
    12. (a)     shadow     (b)     light     (c)     rays     (d)     spectrum

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. cast bdtou on
    2. our conoigitn level peaks
    3. when we are 20 and declines rheratftee
    4. do not nimsdiih before then
    5. Our finding is eoganguncir
    6. until teariyllve late in the lifespan

    Paragraph 2

    1. our mental ornegspsic speed
    2. ntastocn until the age of 60
    3. the task we studied yalrbe changed
    4. become more cautious and less uepisilvm
    5. skrecels as we age
    6. vnrereeteaguedion diseases

    Put the text back together

    (...)  increases in their 20s and remains high until 60. Dr von Krause said: "Until older adulthood, the speed of information processing in the task we
    (...)  is encouraging, as our results show that average levels in mental speed in contexts demanding
    (...)  we age. The study could cast light on neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.
    (...)  fast and forced decisions do not decline until relatively late in the lifespan."
    (...)  that our mental processing speed remains relatively constant until the age of 60, but does start
    (...)  studied barely changed." He added that older people do take longer to make
    (...)  decisions, but said this was because we become more cautious, and less impulsive and reckless as
    (...)  The study was based on data from over 1.1 million people, aged between 10 and 80 years old. The results show
    (...)  to decline from our seventh decade. The researchers said people's mental processing speed actually
    (...)  skills were still powerful at the age of 60 and do not diminish before then. He wrote: "Our finding
    (...)  when we are 20 and declines thereafter. Lead researcher doctor Mischa von Krause, of Heidelberg University, offered
    (...)  hope to older people who worry about increasing forgetfulness or reduced brain power. He said cognitive
    (...)  starts to decline from the age of 20. Until now, it has been thought that our cognition level peaks
    1  ) Scientists in Germany have cast doubt on a previously believed assumption that the processing speed of our brain

    Put the words in the right order

    1. doubt   Scientists   on   a   believed   cast   assumption   .   previously
    2. brain   speeds   of   decline   .   Processing   our   to   starts
    3. are   level   20   .   when   Our   peaks   we   cognition
    4. worry   increasing   Older   who   about   forgetfulness   .   people
    5. fast   forced   and   In   demanding   decisions   .   contexts
    6. relatively   speed   Our   processing   constant   .   remains   mental
    7. It   to   our   decade   .   decline   from   seventh   starts
    8. speed  people's  said actually Researchers processing increases . mental
    9. task   .   speed   of   information   in   The   the   processing
    10. to   make   take   longer   People   decisions   .   do

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    Scientists in Germany have cast / fast doubt on a previously believed assumption that the processing speedy / speed of our brain starts to decline from the age of 20. Until now, it has been thinking / thought that our cognition level peaks when we are 20 and declines / reclines thereafter. Lead researcher doctor Mischa von Krause, of Heidelberg University, offered / remitted hope to older people who worry about increasing / upping forgetfulness or reduced brain power. He said cognitive skill / skills were still powerful at the age of 60 and do not diminish / dimming before then. He wrote: "Our finding is encouraging, as our results show that average levels in mental speed in contexts demand / demanding fast and forced decisions do not decline until relatively late / lately in the lifespan."

    The study was based in / on data from over 1.1 million people, aged between 10 and 80 years old. The results show that our mentally / mental processing speed remains relatively / relative constant until the age of 60, but does start to decline from our seventh / seventy decade. The researchers said people's mental processing speed actually increases on / in their 20s and remains height / high until 60. Dr von Krause said: "Until older adulthood, the speed of information processing on / in the task we studied barely changed." He added that older people do / that take longer to make decisions, but said this was because we become more caution / cautious, and less impulsive and reckless as we age. The study could fast / cast light on neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.

    Talk about the connection between each pair of words in italics, and why the correct word is correct.

    Insert the vowels (a, e, i, o, u)

    Sc__nt_sts  _n  G_rm_ny  h_v_  c_st  d__bt  _n  _  pr_v___sly  b_l__v_d  _ss_mpt__n  th_t  th_  pr_c_ss_ng  sp__d  _f  __r  br__n  st_rts  t_  d_cl_n_  fr_m  th_  _g_  _f  20.  _nt_l  n_w,  _t  h_s  b__n  th__ght  th_t  __r  c_gn_t__n  l_v_l  p__ks  wh_n  w_  _r_  20  _nd  d_cl_n_s  th_r__ft_r.  L__d  r_s__rch_r  d_ct_r  M_sch_  v_n  Kr__s_,  _f  H__d_lb_rg  _n_v_rs_ty,  _ff_r_d  h_p_  t_  _ld_r  p__pl_  wh_  w_rry  _b__t  _ncr__s_ng  f_rg_tf_ln_ss  _r  r_d_c_d  br__n  p_w_r.  H_  s__d  c_gn_t_v_  sk_lls  w_r_  st_ll  p_w_rf_l  _t  th_  _g_  _f  60  _nd  d_  n_t  d_m_n_sh  b_f_r_  th_n.  H_  wr_t_:  "__r  f_nd_ng  _s  _nc__r_g_ng,  _s  __r  r_s_lts  sh_w  th_t  _v_r_g_  l_v_ls  _n  m_nt_l  sp__d  _n  c_nt_xts  d_m_nd_ng  f_st  _nd  f_rc_d  d_c_s__ns  d_  n_t  d_cl_n_  _nt_l  r_l_t_v_ly  l_t_  _n  th_  l_f_sp_n."

    Th_  st_dy  w_s  b_s_d  _n  d_t_  fr_m  _v_r  1.1  m_ll__n  p__pl_,  _g_d  b_tw__n  10  _n_  80  y__rs  _ld.  Th_  r_s_lts  sh_w  th_t  __r  m_nt_l  pr_c_ss_ng  sp__d  r_m__ns  r_l_t_v_ly  c_nst_nt  _nt_l  th_  _g_  _f  60,  b_t  d__s  st_rt  t_  d_cl_n_  fr_m  __r  s_v_nth  d_c_d_.  Th_  r_s__rch_rs  s__d  p__pl_'s  m_nt_l  pr_c_ss_ng  sp__d  _ct__lly  _ncr__s_s  _n  th__r  20s  _nd  r_m__ns  h_gh  _nt_l  60.  Dr  v_n  Kr__s_  s__d:  "_nt_l  _ld_r  _d_lth__d,  th_  sp__d  _f  _nf_rm_t__n  pr_c_ss_ng  _n  th_  t_sk  w_  st_d__d  b_r_ly  ch_ng_d."  H_  _dd_d  th_t  _ld_r  p__pl_  d_  t_k_  l_ng_r  t_  m_k_  d_c_s__ns,  b_t  s__d  th_s  w_s  b_c__s_  w_  b_c_m_  m_r_  c__t___s,  _nd  l_ss  _mp_ls_v_  _nd  r_ckl_ss  _s  w_  _g_.  Th_  st_dy  c__ld  c_st  l_ght  _n  n__r_d_g_n_r_t_v_  d_s__s_s  s_ch  _s  _lzh__m_r's.

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    scientists in germany have cast doubt on a previously believed assumption that the processing speed of our brain starts to decline from the age of 20 until now it has been thought that our cognition level peaks when we are 20 and declines thereafter lead researcher doctor mischa von krause of heidelberg university offered hope to older people who worry about increasing forgetfulness or reduced brain power he said cognitive skills were still powerful at the age of 60 and do not diminish before then he wrote our finding is encouraging as our results show that average levels in mental speed in contexts demanding fast and forced decisions do not decline until relatively late in the lifespan

    the study was based on data from over 11 million people aged between 10 and 80 years old the results show that our mental processing speed remains relatively constant until the age of 60 but does start to decline from our seventh decade the researchers said peoples mental processing speed actually increases in their 20s and remains high until 60 dr von krause said until older adulthood the speed of information processing in the task we studied barely changed he added that older people do take longer to make decisions but said this was because we become more cautious and less impulsive and reckless as we age the study could cast light on neurodegenerative diseases such as alzheimers

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    ScientistsinGermanyhavecastdoubtonapreviouslybelievedassumpti
    onthattheprocessingspeedofourbrainstartstodeclinefromtheageof2
    0.Untilnow,ithasbeenthoughtthatourcognitionlevelpeakswhenwear
    e20anddeclinesthereafter.LeadresearcherdoctorMischavonKrause,
    ofHeidelbergUniversity,offeredhopetoolderpeoplewhoworryaboutin
    creasingforgetfulnessorreducedbrainpower.Hesaidcognitiveskillsw
    erestillpowerfulattheageof60anddonotdiminishbeforethen.Hewrote
    :"Ourfindingisencouraging,asourresultsshowthataveragelevelsinm
    entalspeedincontextsdemandingfastandforceddecisionsdonotdeclin
    euntilrelativelylateinthelifespan."Thestudywasbasedondatafromov
    er1.1millionpeople,agedbetween10and80yearsold.Theresultsshow
    thatourmentalprocessingspeedremainsrelativelyconstantuntilthea
    geof60,butdoesstarttodeclinefromourseventhdecade.Theresearche
    rssaidpeople'smentalprocessingspeedactuallyincreasesintheir20sa
    ndremainshighuntil60.DrvonKrausesaid:"Untilolderadulthood,thes
    peedofinformationprocessinginthetaskwestudiedbarelychanged."H
    eaddedthatolderpeopledotakelongertomakedecisions,butsaidthisw
    asbecausewebecomemorecautious,andlessimpulsiveandrecklessas
    weage.Thestudycouldcastlightonneurodegenerativediseasessucha
    sAlzheimer's.

    Free writing

    Write about mental processing speed for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

     

    Academic writing

    We need to live our lives to keep our brain healthy. Discuss.

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________

     

    Homework

    1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google's search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.
    2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about this news story. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.
    3. BRAIN POWER: Make a poster about brain power. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. AGE 60: Write a magazine article about all 60-year-olds starting exercises to increase brain power. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against this.
    Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).
    5. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.
    6. LETTER: Write a letter to an expert on brain power. Ask him/her three questions about it. Give him/her three of your ideas on how to increase it. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

    A Few Additional Activities for Students

    Ask your students what they have read, seen or heard about this news in their own language. Students are likely to / may have have encountered this news in their L1 and therefore bring a background knowledge to the classroom.

    Get students to role play different characters from this news story.

    Ask students to keep track of this news and revisit it to discuss in your next class.

    Ask students to male predictions of how this news might develop in the next few days or weeks, and then revisit and discuss in a future class.

    Ask students to write a follow-up story to this news.

    Students role play a journalist and someone who witnessed or was a part of this news. Perhaps they could make a video of the interview.

    Ask students to keep a news journal in English and add this story to their thoughts.

    Also...

    Buy my 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers eBook. It has hundreds of ideas, activity templates, reproducible activities for:

    • News
    • Warm ups
    • Pre-reading / Post-reading
    • Using headlines
    • Working with words
    • While-reading / While-listening
    • Moving from text to speech
    • Post-reading / Post-listening
    • Discussions
    • Using opinions
    • Plans
    • Language
    • Using lists
    • Using quotes
    • Task-based activities
    • Role plays
    • Using the central characters in the article
    • Using themes from the news
    • Homework

    Buy my book

    $US 9.99

    Answers

    (Please look at page 26 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

    Help Support This Web Site

    • Please consider helping Breaking News English.com

    Sean Banville's Book

    Thank You