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UnDisciplined: aging increases cluttered memory and creativity

Clutter – That’s the stuff we don’t use but which accumulates in our cupboards. Getting rid of home clutter brings a sense of freedom and calm. But what about brain clutter? A new study documents that older adults have more space allocated to, well, clutter! Their accumulated knowledge can slow or misdirect memory retrieval, compared to younger people. But that very clutter can also make older people more creative.

Tarek Amer is a cognitive psychologist who carries out research at Columbia University and Harvard University.

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