Researchers have found that people who feel younger than their chronological age show fewer age-related changes in their brains, compared with those who say they feel their age or older.
In a study published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, scientists from two South Korean universities performed MRI scans on the brains of 68 healthy people between the ages of 59 and 84. The subjects also took a memory test and filled out a survey, which asked whether they felt younger or older than their age. Their overall health and cognitive abilities were also assessed.
The scientists found that participants who felt younger had a greater amount of gray matter (which is involved in information processing) in key regions of the brain than did those who felt their age or older. They were also likely to score higher on the memory test and considered themselves to be in better health. And they were less likely to report signs of depression.