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it is never too late to learn.


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#1
Italian Ufo

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I so wish it was true. They say children are more receptive and it is easier to learn things. Look for a kid that moves into another country after he is 13 years old he will not learn to pronounce words as a native speakers in most of cases. There are sports that you can not learn how to play properly after the age of 10. Also to learn how to play piano and other instrument it will be harder in adult age. While we still need to unerstand well why the brain is less receptive when we are older a(nd even at the age 27 the age where brain achieve the highest efficency and potential), when do you think we will find a method to have a brain that has the same assimilation capbilities of a 8 years old for example? When can we see a 50 years old learn to ski as fast as a child? or when ca nwe decide to play a random sport like football or hand ball at the age of 40 without worring about it is too late? ( i am only talking about brain, not physicial strenght and performance). Do we have to wait centuries for that? Please discuss

#2
Sciencerocks

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When we start merging with machines this will be possible. This is one of the reasons why we will do that.

#3
Italian Ufo

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i hope so but i wish there was also a "cure" for those who decide to remain biological or partly biological

#4
Alric

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I don't actually believe that is true. Someone who is an adult can learn to speak and pronounce another language fluently. I know several. The idea that adults can't learn things is just silly, adults can learn anything a child can. In fact adults have several advantages and can often learn things much faster than children. One example is things like learning a musical instruments. Usually an adult will pick up and learn an instrument faster than a child would because they are better able to grasp the different concepts and have better focus. I think the idea that adults learn slower, is based on the amount of time people put into things. Children put a lot more time into learning things than adults, because adults get distracted and tied up in adult things. I think if you go by actual time spent learning, adults are equivalent or better than children at learning.

#5
Italian Ufo

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I don't actually believe that is true. Someone who is an adult can learn to speak and pronounce another language fluently. I know several. The idea that adults can't learn things is just silly, adults can learn anything a child can. In fact adults have several advantages and can often learn things much faster than children. One example is things like learning a musical instruments. Usually an adult will pick up and learn an instrument faster than a child would because they are better able to grasp the different concepts and have better focus.

I think the idea that adults learn slower, is based on the amount of time people put into things. Children put a lot more time into learning things than adults, because adults get distracted and tied up in adult things. I think if you go by actual time spent learning, adults are equivalent or better than children at learning.


no i dont agree..
i have experiences on myself and on others as well in terms of sports, language, maybe music insturments.

#6
Alric

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What sports? Sports are usually a physical thing, and if it takes longer to get good it is because of your body, and you specifically said brain not body. If you explain the rules of baseball to a 6 year old, a 10 year old and a 30 year old, it will only take a fraction of the time for the 30 year old to learn and remember all the rules. The 6 year old would probably be totally incapable of learning the rules without a ton of repeating over and over for hours, and the 10 year old is definitely going to take a lot longer than the 30 year old. Kids take years and years of nonstop practice that last days and nights to learn their first language, when most adults can learn a language to a high degree in a couple of months in a total immersion situation.

#7
Italian Ufo

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In fact I meant the brain and how it learns to reproduce movments. To give you a small examples, some football (soccer) players started to play when they were 12 and they were able to reach the first football divion. 12 is a young age but late for sports. in fact while theese players have great phyisical performance ( which allowed them to get in first division) but they will never be good with technique ( way to kick the ball, control it). they are in fact inferior in that sense if you compare them to their collegues who started to play at 6- Rules of a game, yes you can learn them faster but when is about gesture, touch, technique the earlier the better.

#8
Alric

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You can't compare those people though, because of the time differences. The person who started at 6 has 6 years worth of practice more than the person who started at 12. So lets say someone started at 6 and someone started at 12 and they go to collage and play a sport there. The first would have 6 years experience and the second would have 12 years experience, double the amount! So really the first 18 year old has the equivalent skill of a 12 year old if you were using the second person as the base. That is one of the biggest problems when competing with people who started younger than you. If you practice the same amount as they do, they will always have more experience. I think when most people say you need to start young they are really talking about experience, and they don't factor in amount of time practicing. To be fair you would have to take a 6 year old and allow them to practice for two months, and take a 30 year old and have them practice for two months. Both would have two months practice, and the older person would most likely have better skills. Because younger people are not better at learning, they just have more time on their side.

#9
Italian Ufo

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You can't compare those people though, because of the time differences. The person who started at 6 has 6 years worth of practice more than the person who started at 12. So lets say someone started at 6 and someone started at 12 and they go to collage and play a sport there. The first would have 6 years experience and the second would have 12 years experience, double the amount! So really the first 18 year old has the equivalent skill of a 12 year old if you were using the second person as the base.

That is one of the biggest problems when competing with people who started younger than you. If you practice the same amount as they do, they will always have more experience. I think when most people say you need to start young they are really talking about experience, and they don't factor in amount of time practicing.

To be fair you would have to take a 6 year old and allow them to practice for two months, and take a 30 year old and have them practice for two months. Both would have two months practice, and the older person would most likely have better skills. Because younger people are not better at learning, they just have more time on their side.



I am not exactly on the same pareer as I have read scientific literature about children brain assimilating movments better then adults.
Did you read about the psychology resercher Alison Gopnik and the studies she made on chlldren?
Well briefely, I will explain to you her findings. Adults when they want to learn something, they create an objective in their mind so the prefrontal brain cortex ( the part that executes in our brain) launches and signal that makes one part of our brain more elastic but this deactivate almost enterly the rest of our brain. in this way when we want to execute a movment, adults try to reproduce what they have done before. in other words the learning of new movments become more diffucult because our brain as been previously influenced by other experiences. so for example if we played hockey before and we start to play tennis we will try to move the tennis racket like an hockey stick. and it dosent matter how efforts we do, we can only improve in most the cases and for an adult the movment will be always something artificial.

On the other hand the children brain are not able to focus entirly on one thing, the neurotransmitters are much more efficent and "plastic" and the signals who turn them off like in one adult are almost not existent.

yes, time is also big factor true, but it has its limits in adult age. Adults can just learn things more quickly as their brain is more devoleped but thats also a limit when it comes to reproducing sounds or movments.

Also if thats true what you say in the last example, in the 10 years time, the 30 years old (now 40) will be less technical then the 6 years old (now 16).
I also have personal experience about this. I played in a pro Rugby team in the under 21 sector. Rugby is a new sport in italy and only 15 years ago people wouldnt start to play this sport before the age of 14. now us in our late 20s and early 30s we are not good as the 14 in thechnical terms. other factors had a play too in these ( Coaches are better) but this was only partly influential.

Moreover, take two adults 20 and 20 they both play one sport. then when they both reach 25 one stops and the other continues. at 30 they both resume. You will see that the one that played 5 years more it will be slightly better then the other in technical terms.

Edited by Italian Ufo, 29 November 2012 - 10:42 PM.


#10
Alric

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Is the difference because the brain is older, or because it has more experience though? I think people would fall into the same problem, if falling back to past experiences regardless of their age. So if you some how took all the experience and knowledge of an older person and put that into a child's brain, I think the results would be very similar to that of just having an adult brain. So it might not be something you can just cure by just injecting some thing into the brain to make it act younger. Also that was just an example, since it is actually hard to judge things accurately on large time scales. Works best if you go by minutes or hours, not by years. Since a year of practice is totally different if its 40 hours a week, or 5 hours a week for that duration. There is something to say for natural talent or some people being better in some areas of life, but I think over the long term everyone ends up at roughly the same skill level as other people who practice the same amount of time, regardless of age or anything else. Adults can master any movement or skill an child can. Even if you thought it was more difficult, that hardly makes it impossible. Which is why older people still learn lots of new things and get along just fine. I bet you can name any skill possible, and I can google and find some old person who tried it late in life and did it well.

#11
Italian Ufo

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Is the difference because the brain is older, or because it has more experience though? I think people would fall into the same problem, if falling back to past experiences regardless of their age. So if you some how took all the experience and knowledge of an older person and put that into a child's brain, I think the results would be very similar to that of just having an adult brain. So it might not be something you can just cure by just injecting some thing into the brain to make it act younger.


the structure of a children brain is different then the one of an adult and also it is different how it works. I think since the children brain is more "elastic" the injected knowledge wouldnt have so much influence on children brain to learn to reproduce movments correctly. at least in theory thats what i think. as i explained for me it is something that has to do with age, maybe one day science will prove that i am wrong, but so far scientific evidence goes on my way. Also i see a pratical problem on here. i am not sure how a child would react if we inject all the adult knowdlege at once.

anyway
of course on google you can find always clamorous cases. I wouldnt be surprised if you find info about a 60 years old man that after few months it achieves the same kicking style of Bruce Lee.
As one professor said once "in the world happens everything as well as the opposite of everything".

Edited by Italian Ufo, 30 November 2012 - 12:46 AM.


#12
Casey

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You seem like a rather pessimistic person, Italian. :/ Whenever you post your predictions and the like, I think 'Well, if Italian thinks so and so will be invented in 2060, that means it will actually come out in 2045.' No offense intended.

#13
Italian Ufo

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You seem like a rather pessimistic person, Italian. :/ Whenever you post your predictions and the like, I think 'Well, if Italian thinks so and so will be invented in 2060, that means it will actually come out in 2045.' No offense intended.


I am not pessimistic person in life generally speaking... you don't know me.. and what has to do my skepticism with brain morphology and functions? i dont understand that.
anyway in relation to your comment, medical science is not a friend of fairytales. thats what i learned from personal experiences and studies.

"it is better the bitter truth rather than the sweet lie".

I hope you are not offended either.

#14
Casey

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You sound kind of annoyed... I honestly didn't mean it badly. And as for how it relates, I think you might be coming down too far on the side of people losing their potential to grow (both when it comes to the degree of decline and the speed of it), that's all.

#15
Italian Ufo

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You sound kind of annoyed... I honestly didn't mean it badly. And as for how it relates, I think you might be coming down too far on the side of people losing their potential to grow (both when it comes to the degree of decline and the speed of it), that's all.


see it is hard to detect emotions with digital messagges. i am not annoyed at all. i am cool.
As for me, because of my direct experiences, both as a patient and as a resercher, i tend to have a realistic approch on medicine.
i don't want to influence badly no one. i would love that things will go faster trust me. but stupid governements wants to fill the fat ballies of bank owners
and wars instead of investing on clinical trials.

Anyway stay cool i am not upset or anything :)
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#16
kjaggard

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Well I'd say that a child of four years or less learns faster not because it's easier but because there is less to connect the new information to and less contextual clue.

A two year old learns something new and the just accept it. There is no fifteen years of memory of similar situations that help define the parameters of the the new knowledge and no sense of why such a thing might happen. apple simply is called an apple, you don't have to even picture trees or fruit or anything else. It's foundational.

Once things become more complex ( drupes ) they depend on other connections (fruit, pits, seed, tree, tart, sweet, juicy, colors). It's a rough example but you've already built a foundation and anything you learn from now on with be classified by relation to the things you already know. That's why brain health is often seen to be better in people who constantly expand beyond their learning comfort zone.

There are also brain hacks and tricks that you can use to improve the abilities of the mind, and it's been suggested that these tricks are similar to the bootstrapping learning we use as a child but leave behind as we get older for systems of learning the are easier to use in large groups for standardised data of specialized nature.

But I think the more important thing to develop are creativity and imagination:

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

Albert Einstein
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Live content within small means. Seek elegance rather than luxury, Grace over fashion and wealth over riches.
Listen to clouds and mountains, children and sages. Act bravely, think boldly.
Await occasions, never make haste. Find wonder and awe, by experiencing the everyday.

#17
Alric

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One of the great tools adult has is relating experience in one area to another though. Which is why they can often learn complex things quicker than children. When it comes to memory, it is always easier to learn and memorize things if you can related to other subjects and ideas.

#18
Italian Ufo

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Well I'd say that a child of four years or less learns faster not because it's easier but because there is less to connect the new information to and less contextual clue.

A two year old learns something new and the just accept it. There is no fifteen years of memory of similar situations that help define the parameters of the the new knowledge and no sense of why such a thing might happen. apple simply is called an apple, you don't have to even picture trees or fruit or anything else. It's foundational.

Once things become more complex ( drupes ) they depend on other connections (fruit, pits, seed, tree, tart, sweet, juicy, colors). It's a rough example but you've already built a foundation and anything you learn from now on with be classified by relation to the things you already know. That's why brain health is often seen to be better in people who constantly expand beyond their learning comfort zone.

There are also brain hacks and tricks that you can use to improve the abilities of the mind, and it's been suggested that these tricks are similar to the bootstrapping learning we use as a child but leave behind as we get older for systems of learning the are easier to use in large groups for standardised data of specialized nature.

But I think the more important thing to develop are creativity and imagination:

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

Albert Einstein



Yes absolutely. Complexity can be an advantage but also a disadvantage in many situations.

#19
Adr

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I kind of agree, it's easier to learn things as a child and I experienced it myself. I learnt english at age 14, it felt really easy and it didn't take long to learn more and more vocabulary. Recently, I learnt spanish and even though it should be easier than english for me (I'm French), it still felt way harder and took way longer. But don't lose faith Italian! Keep your brain healthy, and keep learning that's all we can do right now. ;)
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#20
Italian Ufo

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I kind of agree, it's easier to learn things as a child and I experienced it myself.
I learnt english at age 14, it felt really easy and it didn't take long to learn more and more vocabulary.
Recently, I learnt spanish and even though it should be easier than english for me (I'm French), it still felt way harder and took way longer.
But don't lose faith Italian! Keep your brain healthy, and keep learning that's all we can do right now. ;)


of course i will ;)




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