Can you think of a random number? Sure you can, but not as good as when you were (or will be) 25 years of age.

Cognitive scientist Nicolas Gauvrit and colleagues at Laboratoire de Recherche Scientifique in Paris, France, tested more than 3,400 people on their ability to “be random” and discovered something interesting: that ability peaked at 25 years of age.

Scientists believe that the ability to behave in a way that appears random arises from some of the most highly developed cognitive processes in humans, and may be connected to abilities such as human creativity. Previous studies have shown that aging diminishes a person’s ability to behave randomly. […]

The scientists analyzed the participants’ choices according to their algorithmic randomness, which is based on the idea that patterns that are more random are harder to summarize mathematically. After controlling for characteristics such as gender, language, and education, they found that age was the only factor that affected the ability to behave randomly. This ability peaked at age 25, on average, and declined from then on.

“This experiment is a kind of reverse Turing test for random behavior, a test of strength between algorithms and humans,” says study co-author Hector Zenil. “25 is, on average, the golden age when humans best outsmart computers,” adds Dr. Gauvrit.

Read more over at Phys.org

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