Scientists have now found physiological reasons why you can become forgetful or, even worse, rude as you age.
Two new studies using psychological tests and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) offer a peek into the inner workings of the aging brain.
Psychological tests showed that instead of just being downright rude, many older people have lost their inhibitory ability and may not even realize they're being rude.
"The normal aging process leads to changes in the brain that have social consequences. These brain changes often do not affect intelligence, but they can affect other aspects of mental functioning, like inhibition. Thus, even older adults who are as sharp as a tack may say things that embarrass or upset us, without intending to do so," explained von Hippel, who is an associate professor of psychology.
"We all think inappropriate things, and we can't be faulted for that. Perhaps aging just leads us to say more of them, and so perhaps we shouldn't be faulted for that, either," he added.