The Middle-Aged Brain

I’m reading a book called The Secret Life of the Grown-up Brain and it’s good news for us middle-agers. I just finished a section about one of the biggest and longest studies of the brain.

“In four of the six categories tested–vocabulary, verbal memory, spatial orientation and … inductive reasoning–people performed best, on average, between the ages of forty to sixty-five.”

Of course one big one that young people did the best on, and it is a big one, was processing speed. But speed isn’t everything. Needless to say, the results are causing science to take a new look at the midlife brain. This and that study that says we start to get happier at 50.

This is a fountain you walk through. Water is cascading around that glass circle. I tried to take a shot from within, but it didn’t really convey it. It was pretty nice.


Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

2 thoughts on “The Middle-Aged Brain

  1. I’m your age & the most distressing part of the aging brain to me is remembering people’s names in large groups. I just got back from a week long national conference at which about 80 of the 95 participants were new to me. While it was easy to remember the names of the most active participants in our discussions, and lunch, dinner and drinking partners, I found that I could not remember names of about the 15-20% of the more quiet & reserved people.

    My daughter is taking biomedical engineering in college so I tried to place an early order for an artificial brain (with a family discount). She informed me that there are limits to what science can do.

  2. Ha. But yeah about the names. The author addresses it. After reading what she says I feel less concerned about the names thing.

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