weekly blog--one for the ages
A new research study concludes that people achieve the most meaning in their lives at around age 60. The research also found that as people's sense of meaning in life rises, so does their well-being, and that both sense of meaning and search for meaning tend to rise and fall in U-shaped curves over a person's life span.
Presence of meaning starts low in the 20s and gradually rises to a peak around age 60, on average, before declining again. The search for meaning is a mirror image: It starts high in people's 20s and drops to an all-time low around age 60 before climbing in older age.
Can’t remember something? Researchers identified a gene in mice that seems to influence memory recall at different times of day. Researchers tested the memories of young adult male and female mice. In the “learning,” or training, phase of the memory tests, researchers allowed mice to explore a new object for a few minutes.
Later, in the “recall” phase of the test, researchers observed how long the mice touched the object when it was reintroduced. Mice spend less time touching objects that they remember seeing previously. Researchers tested the mice’s recall by reintroducing the same object at different times of day.
They did the same experiments with healthy mice and mice without BMAL1, a protein that regulates the expression of many other genes. BMAL1 normally fluctuates between low levels just before waking up and high levels before going to sleep. The researchers discovered that when BMAL1 levels are normally low, it causes mice to not recall something they definitely learned and know.