We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain: The Surprising Talents of the Middle-Aged Mind | [Barbara Strauch]

The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain: The Surprising Talents of the Middle-Aged Mind

A leading science writer examines how the brain's capacity reaches its peak in middle ageFor many years, scientists thought that the human brain simply decayed over time and its dying cells led to memory slips, fuzzy logic, negative thinking, and even depression.
Regular Price:$19.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

A leading science writer examines how the brain's capacity reaches its peak in middle age. For many years, scientists thought that the human brain simply decayed over time and its dying cells led to memory slips, fuzzy logic, negative thinking, and even depression. But new research from neuroscientists and psychologists suggests that, in fact, the brain reorganizes, improves in important functions, and even helps us adopt a more optimistic outlook in middle age. Growth of white matter and brain connectors allow us to recognize patterns faster, make better judgments, and find unique solutions to problems. Scientists call these traits cognitive expertise and they reach their highest levels in middle age.

In her impeccably researched book, science writer Barbara Strauch explores the latest findings that demonstrate, through the use of technology such as brain scans, that the middle-aged brain is more flexible and more capable than previously thought. For the first time, long-term studies show that our view of middle age has been misleading and incomplete. By detailing exactly the normal, healthy brain functions over time, Strauch also explains how its optimal processes can be maintained.

Part scientific survey, part how-to guide, The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain is a fascinating glimpse at our surprisingly talented middle-aged minds.

©2010 Barbara Strauch (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Strauch tackles [loaded questions] with all the scientific instruments at her disposal...the latest findings neurological, biochemical, and psychological, with an illuminating dose of anecdote thrown in." (New Scientist)

"Provocative....A contender for every parent's reading list." (Newsday)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (348 )
5 star
 (112)
4 star
 (135)
3 star
 (75)
2 star
 (17)
1 star
 (9)
Overall
4.0 (146 )
5 star
 (43)
4 star
 (65)
3 star
 (29)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (3)
Story
4.1 (143 )
5 star
 (51)
4 star
 (63)
3 star
 (25)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    A. Yoshida Pasadena, CA USA 05-03-14
    A. Yoshida Pasadena, CA USA 05-03-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    242
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    109
    75
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    168
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Middle-aged brain is peaking"

    This book is like many other books when talking about how the brain works and how its functioning could be enhanced (e.g., exercise, do new things, and solve problems). It is different in that looks at the advantages and disadvantages of the middle-aged brain. As we age, we may not be able to remember things or solve math problems as quickly as we used. Because of this, people think the middle-aged brain is declining. Surprisingly, the book reveals that the middle-aged brain can be at its peak. The brain has reorganized since its youth. It has built up patterns of connections and it acts and thinks differently. It is smarter, calmer, and happier. When a young worker is freaking out over a problem, an older worker is thinking, "Calm down. We've gotten through worse problems than this. First, let's figure out how bad the situation is." The middle-aged brain is using both sides, whereas the younger brain is using the untamed emotional side.

    This book reassures us that as we age, our brain does not necessarily become progressively worse. We have more experience and knowledge, which have been applied repeatedly over time, strengthening connections in our brain. We make better judgments and decisions. It could be called wisdom, intuition, or gut feeling; these snap judgments come from our years of experience. We need to appreciate the advantages of a more mature brain rather than focus on the one negative aspect (forgetting things). It is also important that we exercise and keep our brain in top shape.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexandre OEIRAS, Portugal 07-02-12
    Alexandre OEIRAS, Portugal 07-02-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This book increases self confidence on our brain."
    Would you listen to The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain again? Why?

    Yes, whenever I think my brain is decreasing its performance and making me feel old.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The original ideas transmited by the author in a very friendly way of writing.


    Have you listened to any of Nona Pipes’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane United States 02-22-11
    Diane United States 02-22-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    175
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    168
    57
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    66
    0
    Overall
    "Lightweight and repetitive"

    This book contains some interesting ideas, but they are repeated ad nauseam. Okay, okay! Even my middle-aged brain has got the point. Please move on. This would have been better as a magazine piece.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elaine Canada 06-28-12
    Elaine Canada 06-28-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thesis could be an essay albeit worth hearing"

    An easy listen due to quality reading and interesting research. Concepts are somewhat belaboured. I would have preferred a faster pace. That said, the content is more than worthwhile. I have recommended the book to several friends.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Biblioangel Chicago, IL United States 05-24-12
    Biblioangel Chicago, IL United States 05-24-12 Member Since 2011

    bibliphile

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A MUST read for anyone over 30-something!!"
    Where does The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I will read this book many times over - and not just because I'm middle-aged. This book is really fascinating, inspiring, and gives me hope that it's not all down hill from here. I intend on buying a copy to send to all of my friends and family.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mo Maumee, OH, United States 05-05-12
    Mo Maumee, OH, United States 05-05-12 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "We aren't all on the road to dementia!"
    Would you listen to The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain again? Why?

    Yes - There were parts I'd like to review one more time.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain?

    The age bracket for the "new" midlife age span.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The going into the basement story - How we all can relate!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    too scientifc for a film


    Any additional comments?

    This book was great for reassuring a large amount of us out there that are caregivers for parents with Alzheimers that there is hope. Those names that just won't come - well that's because the brain is working better in other areas. It was great to listen to some scientific data that backs this all up.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Sunnyvale, CA, United States 08-05-11
    Joe Sunnyvale, CA, United States 08-05-11 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Better towards the end"

    This book is pretty short, but the first couple hours were repetitive and seemed to go on forever. That part can be can be summarized as: 1.) Middle aged people misplace their keys and forget why they went to the basement; 2.) Middle age people have experience and patience, so they are really valuable; and 3.) All the author's friends and associates are professionals and have graduate degrees. I guess that makes them even more valuable in spite of losing their keys and forgetting why they went to the basement.


    A couple hours in, she gets into a substantive review of some pretty interesting science around brains, dementia, and the care and feeding of our brains. The last three or four hours make up for the first couple.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 07-28-10
    Jane Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 07-28-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    31
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Wonderful! Positive information and Great Narrator"

    This was a great listen! The writer describes why aging brain is not that bad. Although memory declines, older brains are more positive and are better in dealing with a variety of situations. At times, I find the book repetitive, but I think this is done so that the points can really hit home. I really like the ending where she talks about her friends and the roses. What a great way to end the book! The narrator did a great job and brought the book to life!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Shoreline, WA, USA 05-02-10
    Mark Shoreline, WA, USA 05-02-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "both personal and /w sci info"

    i am really enjoying this book, i wonder if there is also a reading of the teen mind book here?

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Xopowo Montreal 07-09-12
    Xopowo Montreal 07-09-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    92
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Informative and interesting"
    Where does The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Interesting science, but too many personal references to anxiety about aging.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    A little less emphasis on assuming the reading is in middle age and panicking about getting old.


    Have you listened to any of Nona Pipes’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I'm not sure


    What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

    How exercise helps create new neurons. The brain is plastic and can grow new cells, and science is finally overcoming the dogma decreed in 1913 that the brain can't change.


    Any additional comments?

    The book often referenced getting old and then made a point about how the aging brain is actually not as badly in decline as we presumed. This had the ironic effect of creating anxiety by starting with the assumption that we all worry about aging. I'd rather she just explain the discoveries and tone down all the personal concerns. I'd mention it once on the back cover, to pique the interest of older folks who really have started to worry about dementia, but don't harp on it throughout the book and alienate younger people.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 25 results PREVIOUS123NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.