Women Over 50—Big Time Brain Power

Posted on June 28, 2008. Filed under: Of Mind and Matter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In her book about women’s second adulthood, Inventing the Rest of Our Lives, Suzanne Braun Levine provides us with some exiting data concerning the aging brain. Dr. Francine Benes, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, has discovered that there is a growth spurt that takes place in the human brain around the age of fifty. Myelin, which is the fatty layer that covers nerve fibers, actually grows about fifty percent during this time. This coating is responsible for aiding the brain to more effectively synthesize life experiences and to enhance the ability to make thoughtful judgments and prudent decisions.  

Even better, the location of this growth spurt is found within the area of the cerebral cortex that is identified with emotional learning. Perhaps, as Levine suggests, this myelin growth factor may likely play a part in creating the highly revered trait we call wisdom.

So, next time we search for our car keys, call our son by the dog’s name, or forget to tell our husband his boss phoned, we have to remember that somewhere in our noggin there’s a whole heap of wisdom going on!

 

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6 Responses to “Women Over 50—Big Time Brain Power”

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Wisdom is a good thing. I keep two sets of car keys, keep track of dentist appointments, or even find my car at a shopping center. Tradeoffs!

I love this! Instead of believing that we are losing brain cells as we age we can now believe that we are actually getting smarter!
Since what we believe is so important this is a wonderful post and gives all of us over 50 the impetus to strive for our dreams!

I always told my children that with age comes wisdom! At last, scientific proof that I am right. Can’t wait to email this to them!

Memory is so over rated. Wisdom and knowledge are the keys that unlock doors.
I don’t know why any of us Menopausers should be surprised that yet something else is growing as we age. LOL Good info.

OK, so we have a growth spurt around 50. That’s good news. The bad news is, it only lasts 24 hours :)

It figures that it would be the FATTY layer.


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