Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Book Recap

I just got done reading Barbara Strauch's The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain. The book is really a wonderful, light and easy walk-through of much of the recent neuroscience research surrounding middle-age. Strauch paints an optimistic picture of the middle aged brain. Instead of general decline, the middle-aged brain gets better at many critical tasks, specifically information integration and sorting through irrelevant information. This is the reason why people with experience or expertise can get the gist quicker about some subject related to their field.
Just yesterday I saw a great example of this. A manager, at a restaurant I was eating at, was dealing with what seemed to be one of the waiter's shirking their responsibilities. When another waiter came up to the manager to point this out, the manager calmly responded with, "Go do his task, and I will deal with everything else. Do not talk to him about it." This understanding of inter-personal dynamics, and the need to keep workers at the same level from fighting among one another, is really something that comes from experience. The book has a whole host of other ideas surrounding how brain aging occurs, and what current research says about how to stop it. Really well worth the 10 or so dollars on Amazon.

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