Your brain’s reaction time peaks at age 24, study finds

BY Colleen Shalby  April 16, 2014 at 12:49 PM EST

Researchers found that your brain’s cognitive reactions begin to slow down at age 24.

Researchers found that your brain’s cognitive reactions begin to slow down at age 24.

The next time some twenty-something complains that they feel old, you can reassure them that their feelings are, in fact, not ridiculous.

After studying 3,305 people ages 16 to 44, researchers found that the brain’s response time begins to decline at age 24. The descent is a slow, but nonetheless, steady one.

Researchers observed study participants’ reaction times as they played the video game StarCraft 2, and analyzed the speed at which they made “game-time” decisions to save their virtual lives.

The findings shouldn’t completely devastate you. The study also found that older participants compensated for their shortage of speed with strategy and efficiency.