All this begs the question,Â what does “being smart” means? “Is it possible to improve intelligence and become “smarter” and what does it really mean to be “smarter?”Â (question asked by Patricia, one of our readers).
As we age, our brains accumulate an ever larger collection of patterns. This gives us a kind of mental quickness that compensates for the slowing of processing speed. Instead of having to piece together the pattern bit by bit from scratch by associating individual pieces of data, you need only a few pieces of data to make you realize that they fit a pattern you already know, much the way a few bars of melody are all you need to recognize an entire song.
The more experience we accumulate, the more of these patterns we hold in our brains, and the less effort we have to make to piece together new pieces of data in new ways. With that comes a danger. We get lazy. It’s a lot easier to