Picture: iStock/spxChrome
Picture: iStock/spxChrome

It turns out the way you perceive things is affected by your age - and we're not talking about whether you need glasses.

A new study has investigated inhibition, a phenomenon which is part of neural processing in the brain.

Inhibition is the ability to stay on topic, to adhere to an idea without distraction.

There is evidence that this declines as we age - previous studies have tested how well people can stick to the phrase "I take my coffee milk and pajamas".

It turns out the older you get, you more likely you are to say the most obvious end word "sugar".

A decline in inhibition can also be found in perception, a new study by the University of Arizona has shown.

Evidence suggests that when we look at an object our brain unconsciously suggests alternative possibilities, which compete against each other through inhibition.

The efficiency of this processes declines with age, meaning that as we get older, we're less likely to see the object we're supposed to.

To test the theory the researchers showed on a screen a series of small, symmetrical white-on-black silhouettes.

Half showed meaningless shapes, others bore a relation to everyday objects.

The older people were the longer they took to perceive a familiar shape.

In that vein, we've made a brief quiz featuring some of the Universities' images and some of our own, to have a guess at how old we think you are.

Speed of recognition plays a factor so don't take your time and answer almost immediately.

Take the full quiz, below:

Keep reading...Show less
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)