Turns Out You’re Not Smarter Than a 10-Year-Old

By Raegan Washington, age 9

Researchers at Brown University and the University of Regensburg, Germany, have found that kids learn information quicker than adults do. The study focused on a brain messenger called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that slows down the brain and can cause a delay in learning.

In the study, kids and adults looked at pictures and answered questions while researchers measured their GABA levels. The researchers found the adults’ levels stayed the same, whereas when the children were learning new information, their GABA levels increased. Even 15 minutes after the test, the children’s GABA levels remained elevated.

These contrasting levels tell us that GABA might play a role in helping kids retain information at a faster rate than adults. Researchers found that the most efficient learning abilities are in the 8 to 11 age group. The research shows that kids’ brains receive and understand information more clearly than adults, proving that we probably are smarter!

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