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

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

by Barbara Strauch


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A leading science writer examines how our brains improve in middle age.

Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer Barbara Strauch explores the latest findings that demonstrate how the middle-aged brain is more flexible and capable than previously thought. In fact, new research from neuroscientists and psychologists suggests that the brain reorganizes, improves in important functions, and even helps us adopt a more optimistic outlook in middle age. We recognize patterns faster, make better judgments, and find unique solutions to problems. 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143118879
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/22/2011
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 369,715
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Barbara Strauch was a reporter and newspaper editor who directed health and science coverage for the New York Times for a decade. Prior to joining the New York Times, she had covered science and medical issues in Boston and Houston and directed Pulitzer Prize–winning news at Newsday. She was also the author of two books about the brain. Strauch died in 2015 at the age of 63.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Changing Landscape of Middle Age xiii

Part 1 The Powers That Be

1 Am I Losing My Mind?: Sometimes, but the Gains Beat the Losses 3

2 The Best Brains of Our Lives: A Bit Slower, but So Much Better 12

3 A Brighter Place: I'm So Glad I'm Not Young Anymore 28

4 Experience. Judgment. Wisdom.: Do We Really Know What We're Talking About? 41

5 The Middle in Motion: The Midlife Crisis Conspiracy 54

Part 2 The Inner Workings

6 What Changes with Time: Glitches the Brain Learns to Deal With 69

7 Two Brains Are Better Than One: Especially Inside One Head 91

8 Extra Brainpower: A Reservoir to Tap When Needed 104

Part 3 Healthier Brains

9 Keep Moving and Keep Your Wits: Exercise Builds Brains 125

10 Food for Thought: And a Few Other Substances, as Well 144

11 The Brain Gym: Toning Up Your Circuits 170

Epilogue: A New Place for Better, Longer Lives 191

Acknowledgments 199

Sources 201

Index 221

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