People's cognitive skills have been the subject of a new study conducted at the University of Virginia.
This study showed that people's cognitive skills peak is at age 22, and then begins a slow decline starting around at the age of 27.
Timothy Salthouse (a University of Virginia professor of psychology and the study's lead investigator) and his team conducted the study during a seven-year period, working with 2,000 healthy participants between the ages of 18 and 60.
Many of the participants in Salthouse's study were tested several times during the course of years, allowing researchers to detect subtle declines in cognitive ability.
Top performances in some of the tests were accomplished at the age of 22. A notable decline in certain measures of abstract reasoning, brain speed and in puzzle-solving became apparent at 27.
The study concluded that the average memory declines at age 37, with however an improvement of vocabulary and general knowledge at least until at the age of 60.
However, the situation may vary from person to person, and it is influenced y people's lifestyle choices.
The team of the University of Virginia are keeping up with the study, in order to gain a long-term understanding of how the brain changes over time.