Adult Learning | Neuroscience from NYTimes.com

How to Train the Aging Brain

Illustration from istockphoto.com
Published: December 29, 2009

Some good news by Barbara Strauch for people with middle aged brains (and I assume older). All is not lost.

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.

The trick is finding ways to keep brain connections in good condition and to grow more of them.

“The brain is plastic and continues to change, not in getting bigger but allowing for greater complexity and deeper understanding,” says Kathleen Taylor, a professor at St. Mary’s College of California, who has studied ways to teach adults effectively. “As adults we may not always learn quite as fast, but we are set up for this next developmental step.”

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