The Secret Life of the Grown-up Brain by Barbara Strauch
The Surprising Talents of the Middle-Aged Mind

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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.

About Barbara Strauch

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Barbara Strauch is the medical science and health editor of the New York Times. She previously covered science and medical issues in Boston and Houston and directed Pulitzer Prize-winning news at Newsday. She is the mother of two teenagers and lives in Westchester County, New York.
Published April 3, 2010 by Penguin Books. 258 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Nature & Wildlife, Professional & Technical, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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Mercedes-Benz brain capacity may not only ameliorate the more superficial symptoms of brain aging, such as slowed thought and memory loss, but it might also be capable of inhibiting devastating brain damage due to age-related pathologies like Alzheimer’s disease.

Apr 15 2010 | Read Full Review of The Secret Life of the Grown-...

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