The Mature Mind: The Positive Power of the Aging Brain

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The Golden Years are being redefined. The fastest-growing segment of the population, those beyond the age of fifty, are no longer content to simply cope with the losses of age. Mental acuity and vitality are becoming a life-long pursuit. Now, the science of the mind is catching up with the Baby Boom generation. In this landmark book, renowned psychiatrist Gene Cohen challenges the long-held belief that our brain power inevitably declines as we age, and shows that there are actually positive changes taking place ...

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Overview

The Golden Years are being redefined. The fastest-growing segment of the population, those beyond the age of fifty, are no longer content to simply cope with the losses of age. Mental acuity and vitality are becoming a life-long pursuit. Now, the science of the mind is catching up with the Baby Boom generation. In this landmark book, renowned psychiatrist Gene Cohen challenges the long-held belief that our brain power inevitably declines as we age, and shows that there are actually positive changes taking place in our minds. Based on the latest studies of the brain, as well as moving stories of men and women in the second half of life, The Mature Mind reveals for the first time how we can continue to grow and flourish. Cohen's groundbreaking theory-the first to elaborate on the psychology of later life-describes how the mind gives us "inner pushes" and creates new opportunities for positive change throughout adult life. He shows how we can jump-start that growth at any age and under any circumstances, fine-tuning as we go, actively building brain reserves and new possibilities. The Mature Mind offers a profoundly different and intriguing look at ourselves, challenging old assumptions, raising bold new questions, and providing exciting answers grounded in science and the realities of everyday life.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Old dogs can learn new tricks, says psychiatrist Cohen, drawing on the latest studies of the aging brain and mind. In fact, new scanning technologies show that in some ways the aging brain is more flexible than younger ones. How we look at the "mature mind" may change with the theories and research presented by Cohen (The Creative Age), founding chief of the Center on Aging at the National Institute of Mental Health. Aiming to debunk the myth of aging as an inevitable decline of body and mind, Cohen introduces the concept of developmental intelligence, a "maturing synergy of cognition, emotional intelligence, judgment, social skills, life experience, and consciousness." Expanding on Erik Erikson's developmental psychology, Cohen postulates that there are four phases of psychological development in mature life: midlife re-evaluation, "a time of exploration and transition"; liberation, a desire to experiment; the summing-up phase of "recapitulation, resolution, and review"; and "encore," the desire to go on. Drawing on the results of two groundbreaking studies, Cohen illustrates that the years after age 65 are anything but "retiring," and that creativity, intellectual growth and more satisfying relationships can blossom at any age. Agent, Gail Ross. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465012039
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 12/26/2005
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Gene Cohen, M.D., PH.D., is a founder of the National Institute on Aging and is currently Director of the Center of Aging, Health & Humanities at George Washington University. He is the author of The Creative Age. Cohen has been interviewed on the "Todayā€¯ show, in the New York Times, TIME, and Newsweek, among other programs and publications. He lives in Kensington, Maryland.

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Table of Contents

1 The power of older minds 1
2 Harnessing developmental intelligence 29
3 The second half of life : phases I and II 51
4 The second half of life : phases III and IV 75
5 Cognition, memory, and wisdom 93
6 Cultivating social intelligence 115
7 Reinventing retirement 135
8 Creativity and aging 167
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