Posted in Miscellany

*Aging Brains

Slower reaction time. Sloppier in multitasking. On the upside: more empathy. Better at complex reasoning. Increased ability to anticipate and solve problems.

Gary Small from UCLA, as reported by NPR,

suggests that this increase may be due to a process in the brain called “myelination.” Myelin is the insulation wrapped around brain cells that increases their conductivity — the speed with which information travels from brain cell to brain cell. And the myelination doesn’t reach its peak until middle age. By this point, says Small, “the neuro-circuits fire more rapidly, as if you’re going from dial-up to DSL.”

And googling is good for your brain. So is exercise according to the NPR report.

Ok it’s been raining the last two days, and actually a bit of snow today. But tomorrow there will be sun and I promise I will get out and walk for my brain.

H/T Mindhacks



Lilian is the author of Web of Angels, a novel about a mom with DID (multiple personalities). She's also the author of the historical novels, The River Midnight and The Singing Fire, about secrets, friendship and motherhood in 19th century Poland and London.

8 thoughts on “*Aging Brains

  1. It’s getting my mind to shut up that’s the real trick! 🙂 I have certainly noticed memory loss these past few years, but I do have plenty of empathy.

    1. Litlove, an advantage of having children late in life is that I just attribute it to Mommy brain. Now that my kids are no longer tots I don’t have that excuse, but I just laugh it off.

  2. Lilian, changing the route of your walk is good for your brain, too. It’s apparently all about keeping neural pathways open, so when you alter your routine (like your exercise route), your brain is encouraged to make new connections. This is something I discovered because of Nana’s Alzheimer’s but which I still haven’t started doing. Stupidly.

    1. Di, what a terrific suggestion. I’d completely forgotten about that. I’ve been walking a lot lately…along the same route. I’m going to vary it. Thanks! (And I am sending light and love to the little bud).

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