The Secret Life of the Grown-up Brain: Discover the Surprising Talents of the Middle-aged Mind

The Secret Life of the Grown-up Brain: Discover the Surprising Talents of the Middle-aged Mind

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By (author) Barbara Strauch

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  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 129mm x 198mm x 15mm | 191g
  • Publication date: 7 April 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0241953073
  • ISBN 13: 9780241953075
  • Sales rank: 132,958

Product description

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.

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Author information

Barbara Strauch is health and medical science editor and a deputy science editor at The New York Times. She previously covered science and medical issues in Boston and Houston and directed Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism at Newsday. The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain is a New York Times bestseller.

Review quote

Alluring and uplifting New Scientist There are a lot of brain books out there, and this is one of the best -- Los Angeles Times Accessible and entertaining ... paints a radically new picture of the brain Scientific American Barbara Strauch's book will have you dancing in the streets with delight. She argues that on a range of cognitive skills, the middle-aged brain (roughly aged 40-68) outperforms all other age groups. -- Madeleine Bunting Guardian