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Growth of white matter and brain connectors allow us to recognize patterns faster, make better judgments, and find unique solutions to problems.

The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain

Scientists call these traits cognitive expertise and they reach their highest levels in middle age. 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. Place a Hold You must be logged in first. Pickup at. It peaks, and we get the best at it in middle age.

Barbara Strauch Archives - Anne Borrowdale

The next one though is where she slays the myth dragons: Q. Doesn't that make sense, since our young adult lives are often marked by bad decisions? I think most of us think that while we make bad decisions in our 20s, we also have the idea that we were the sharpest we ever were when we were in college or graduate school. People think if I tried to go to engineering school or medical school now, I couldn't do it.

The secret life of the grown-up brain

Because of these memory problems that happen in middle age, we tend to think of our brains as, on the whole, worse than in our 20s. But on the whole, they're better. Is there anything you can do to keep your brain healthy and improve the deficits, like memory problems?


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There's a lot of hype in this field in terms of brain improvement. I did set out to find out what actually works and what we know.

What we do with our bodies has a huge impact on our brains. Our brains are more like our hearts in that everything you do for your heart is thought to be equally as good or better for your brain. Exercise is the best studied thing you can do to your brain. It increases brain volume, produces new baby brain cells in grownup brains.

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Even when our muscles contract, it produces growth chemicals. Using your body can help your brain.

The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain: Part 3

Socializing and learning new activities are good, but not as effective as having a good ole' debate with someone you disagree with: Q. What about activities like learning to play an instrument or learning a foreign language? This story has been shared 16, times. View author archive email the author Get author RSS feed.

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