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The Forgotten Potential of Life: From 50 to 75

已有 553 次阅读 2020-4-4 10:42 |个人分类:远程教育与终身学习|系统分类:生活其它

A person's life is a long river, going through several processes such as birth, growth, aging and death. Generally, we think that a person enters the adult stage after his twenties. From the twenties to the fifties, this is a golden period of one's life. Judging from the growth of many great people, most of them have made great achievement in this period. However, many people after 50 years of age feel the decline of their energy and physical strength, and start to feel powerless when doing many things. Therefore, after most people are over 50 years old, they begin to plan to withdraw from their professional arrangements. However, with the development of modern physiological medicine and cognitive science, people have a deeper understanding of the physiological development of brain function. It has been noted that, in fact, human cognitive ability is not synchronized with the development of physiological functions. After the age of fifty, although one feels a significant physical decline, her cognitive ability is at the pinnacle of her life. Views of various things have become more profound. This very powerful cognitive ability can even extend to the seventies. Unfortunately, for a long time in the past, people did not pay enough attention to this cognitive ability, so that a large amount of human creativity was wasted.

The following figure is taken from "Cognitive Development Theory" (Cheng, 2019) and shows the four stages of adulthood cognitive development. The C(t) and R(t) curves in the figure represent the network complexity and network capacity of the brain physiology, which is consistent with the growth and decline of a person's overall physiological organs. M(t) and C(t) correspond to cognitive pattern and cognitive depth, and are two parameters that belong to psychological cognition.

Four stages of adulthood.png

It can be seen from the figure that the adult's cognitive pattern reached its peak when he was about fifty years old. After that, the adult cognitive pattern curve M(t) began to be restricted by physiological factors and began to show a downward trend. Cognitive pattern reflects the diversity of a person's brain thinking process. The richness of cognitive pattern reflects a person's divergent thinking ability and artistic creation ability to a certain extent.

However, we can also notice from the figure that although the ability of a person's cognitive pattern begins to decline after the age of fifty, her cognitive depth D(t) curve is still in the stage of continuing to rise and last until the sixties. This shows that after an adult is over fifty years old, she can still carry out deep thinking activities, and the average depth of thinking about a problem exceeds the stage before fifty years old. The continuous rise of this cognitive depth curve reflects that people's views on the objective world have become more and more profound, and they can deeply think about many difficult philosophical questions.

Of course, we should also note that the M(t) and D(t) curves in this figure reflect the average cognitive pattern and average cognitive depth of adults. After all, when the age exceeds fifty, the network capacity and network depth in the physiological sense of the brain are in a stage of rapid decline. That is to say, when thinking about some problems that do not require too much knowledge accumulation, the adult's cognitive depth curve can easily reach the physiological limit. This is why some adults in their fifties feel a little bit overwhelmed when thinking about more complicated issues.

It can be seen from the above analysis that after a person enters the middle-aged and elderly stages of more than 50 years old, there is still a lot of room for his cognitive ability. If these cognitive abilities can be brought into full play, they can certainly make a very useful contribution to the development of human society.

However, for a long time in the past, we did not pay much attention to the development of cognitive ability after the fifties. Many of our jobs now follow the retirement system of manual labor in the past. After a person reaches his fifties, due to the serious physiological decline, he began to plan the arrangement of career exit. In fact, at this stage, although the adult has experienced a significant decline in physiology, the average cognitive ability of a person is still in a stage of rapid rise. She can also face and solve many practical problems well and make a greater contribution to the society.

Solutions to this problem include individual cognitive development arrangements and the construction of relevant systems throughout the society.

For the planning arrangement of personal cognitive development, it mainly relies on personal efforts to explore work planning that suitable for oneself in work and life after 50 years of age. The development of the modern information society has brought great help to this kind of personal cognitive development planning. Middle-aged and elderly people only need a computer or a mobile phone to quickly and efficiently obtain information on all aspects of social development and adjust their cognitive development plans in a timely manner. However, this kind of personal cognitive planning has relatively high requirements for the development of a person's cognitive ability. If a person has already laid a better foundation for cognitive development during his youth, these good cognitive accumulations will help her plan her life and work arrangements more effectively after the age of fifty.

In addition to personal cognitive planning, a better way to promote the entire society to effectively exploit the cognitive potential after the age of fifty is to establish corresponding systems. These systems include lifelong learning systems, deferred retirement systems, and various policy measures to promote middle-aged and elderly entrepreneurship and employment. At present, China has issued the "Middle and Long-term Plan for the National Active Response to Population Aging", which will solve the problem of population aging to the level of national strategy. It is believed that various supporting policies and systems for middle-aged and elderly people will also be established as soon as possible, which will have a very large role in promoting the cognitive potential of adults after the age of 50 in the entire society.

Of course, while we are actively developing the cognitive potential after the age of 50, we should also note that it is also an objective law that a person's physiological function is in a rapid decline stage after the age of 50. Therefore, middle-aged and elderly people should also have a clear understanding of their physiological conditions. They cannot completely ignore their own physiological conditions and forcefully complete some very complex tasks, leading to various physiological diseases.




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