Face memory peaks late, after age 30 | Science News

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Face memory peaks late, after age 30

Finding challenges view that all mental faculties max out in young adulthood

2:05pm, December 10, 2010

Youth is wasted on the young, but not so for face memory. In an unexpected discovery, people remember unfamiliar faces best between ages 30 and 34, scientists report in an upcoming issue of Cognition.

Many researchers think word skills, memory and other mental functions crest in the early 20s, as the brain attains full maturity. Consistent with that assumption, memory for names and for upside-down faces — a task that requires recognition of general visual patterns — hits a high point at ages 23 to 24, says a team led by psychology graduate student L

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