It’s true that as we grow older, many aggravations that we used to take seriously seem to lose edge. Some of us, however, become grumpy, cantankerous oldsters. It’s generally recognized that a positive outlook on life has a favorable effect on general health. If that’s correct, then the “mellow oldsters” might have been a self-selected sample.

Dov R. Aleksandrowicz
Ramat Gan, Israel

Perhaps it’s because I’m only 49 that it seems all too easy to turn this article around by a slightly different wording: “Older and more cynical: Aging brain shifts gears to become an emotional cripple.” OK, that’s too much, but have we not heard of the miserable old man?

Peter Morgan
New Haven, Conn

From the Nature Index

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