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A very popular new book on the brain—This one's on the middle-aged brain

Posted May 01 2010 12:00am

The-secret-life-of-the-grown-up-brain I have not read this book yet as I only learned of it today. Someday in the future I may receive it from the library; I am 55th in line for the library's eight copies! I cannot purchase every brain book that is published because I would need a room dedicated to books to hold them all. Until I get that room, I am what the library calls a "heavy user." The librarians at my branch have become friends because I am there so frequently.

The new book is The Secret Life of the Grown-up Brain: The Surprising Talents of the Middle-Aged Mind . Click to read The Talents of a Middle-Aged Brain (The New York Times Health blog), an interview of the author Barbara Strauch . Excerpt:

Q. So what’s the bad news about the middle-aged brain?

A. Obviously, there are issues with short-term memory. There are declines in processing speed and in neurotransmitters, the chemicals in our brain. But as it turns out, modern middle age is from 40 to 65. During this long time in the middle, if we’re relatively healthy our brains may have a few issues, but on balance they’re better than ever during that period.

Q. Do teenage brains and middle-aged brains have much in common?

A. The thing the middle-aged brain shares with the teenage brain is that it’s still developing. It’s not some static blob that is going inextricably downhill. Scientists found that when they watched the brains of teenagers, the brains were expanding and growing
and cutting back

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