White Matter Peaks: Middle Age Intelligence

[Editor’s Note: This article was written by the CTL’s Laurie Hansen.]

According to Barbara Strauch, author of The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain, “Though people can become more forgetful in middle age, research suggests that they’re at the top of their game in other areas, such as vocabulary and reasoning.”

What was I saying again?  Oh yeah!  Strauch defines the time period of “middle age” as “roughly between the ages of 40 and 65.”

Strauch recalls her senior moments on NPR’s program “Fresh Air.”  In her book, she “details studies that suggest that the middle-aged brain is not on a steady decline, and actually improves in a number of areas as time passes.”  We might say it actually “peaks.”

She also says that exercise, physical as well as mental, is important for mature brain growth.  No time to exercise?  Do it at the office or bring your laptop to lunch and try Lumosity.  Why not have fun exercising your cranium with your kids?

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” ~ Henry Ford

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