03 January 2010

2010: The Year of The Baby Boomer Brain

Not that the last few years haven’t had plenty of neurons bouncing about and flashing all sorts of surprising info about middle-aged noggins:

image What Kind of Genius Are You? 
A new theory suggests that creativity comes in two distinct types - quick and dramatic, or careful and quiet …

Brains More Distracted, Not Slower with Age

Older Brain Really May Be a Wiser Brain

My Brain, Your Brain, iBrain

Baby boomers are smarter than you think
Researchers have confirmed what many mature people already know – intelligence actually gets sharper with age.

Aging Brain shifts gears to emotional advantage

Your Brain on Games

But in April get ready for The Book:

image The Secret Life of the Grown-up Brain
The Surprising Talents of the Middle-Aged Mind
Barbara Strauch – Author
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.

image Ms. Strauch is the Medical Science and Health Editor for The New York Times.  Her recent piece reads like a warm-up for the book:

How to Train the Aging Brain
Over the past several years, scientists have looked deeper into how brains age and confirmed that they continue to develop through and beyond middle age.

I liked this:

The brain, as it traverses middle age, gets better at recognizing the central idea, the big picture. If kept in good shape, the brain can continue to build pathways that help its owner recognize patterns and, as a consequence, see significance and even solutions much faster than a young person can.

From my book Advertising to Baby Boomers ©2005, 2007:




So a lot of us will be doing a lot of thinking over the next thirty-odd years.

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