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.
"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)
Very good - near the top of the list
The exersice and brain function study and explaination
She does a very good job narrating the story. She has mild inflections to show character shift. This type of book does not really have characters and other readers make the mistake of acting. I would listen to her read again.
That I am younger than I thought and that my brain can be helped with exersice. There is no such thing a a mid life crisis.
I liked this book
Interesting science, but too many personal references to anxiety about aging.
A little less emphasis on assuming the reading is in middle age and panicking about getting old.
I'm not sure
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes - There were parts I'd like to review one more time.
The age bracket for the "new" midlife age span.
The going into the basement story - How we all can relate!
too scientifc for a film
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.
I wouldn't know. The book is interesting in some respect, but it seems to repeat the same idea too often.
The book was well read.
No, not really.
About the midpoint it started to sound less scientific and less focused. by the end it felt like a list of theories that have little scientific basis; the author generally disclosed the science behind the theories and I commend her for that.
overall a decent book with sparks of greatness.
They each serve a different purpose. The book is good for reference and review, the audio for when your hands are busy and you want your brain entertained and informed.
I liked it all. Her stories were so down to earth and I could relate to them all despite the fact that I am well past the age 55 group the book targets.
I have incorporated many parts into the lectures I give on health and the brain.
One of my favorite "health" books.
It seemed to drag, like you were listening to the boring person you hope doesn't see you at the coffee shop.
The narration may have been the problem.
I would say no. I wish I had chosen something else. It wasn't horrible, just not great.
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