Do you expect your memory to be better or worse 10 or 20 years from now? How about your sex life? What are your greatest fears, concerns and worries about getting older? Are you hoping that someone will develop the mental equivalent of Viagra?
In the last 30 years the scientific evidence supporting the notion that your mind can improve through the years has become overwhelming. Clearly, the question is no longer whether your mind can improve with age, but rather how you can optimize your mental powers as you get older.
Brain Power presents practical, evidence-based information on improving your mind throughout life. Michael J. Gelb and Kelly Howell present an accessible and fun-to-read survey of the leading experts in the field of healthy aging, including physicians, gerontologists and neuroscientists. They've also studied the habits and practices of men and women who are paragons of healthy aging. Their approach isn’t just based on scientific theory and academic research. They actually apply everything they recommend in these pages and will guide you to apply these methods so that you will improve your mind every year of your life.
The authors begin by exploring a paradigm shift that’s taken place in the last three decades. Most of us were raised with faulty ideas about our mental capacity — such as the notion that IQ is fixed at age 5, that brain cells degrade yearly after age 30, and that memory and learning ability inevitably decline with age.
These notions, based on the scientific understanding that was prevalent in the 1950s, are myths — dangerous myths that can stifle our ability to flourish in the second half of life.
Just as Copernicus overturned the myth that the earth was at the center of the universe, so contemporary neuroscience has revolutionized our understanding of the potential to improve mental functioning as we age.
We now know the following:
• Our mental abilities, including memory, are designed to improve throughout life. Neuroscientists call this Neuroplasticity. (Neuro refers to “neuron,” aka “nerve cells,” and plasticity means “changeable, malleable.”)
• Although some brain cells die as we age, we can generate new cells. Neuroscientists call this Neurogenesis. (Your neuronal endowment is so great that even if you lost 1,000 brain cells every day for the rest of your life it would still be less than 1% of your total. Of course, it’s important not to lose the 1% that you actually use!)
The brain is not, as was once thought, a compartmentalized, hardwired static machine whose parts eventually wear out. Instead, it is a highly adaptable and dynamic organ, capable of generating new neurons, and changing and evolving as we get older.
People of average intelligence can, with appropriate training, raise I.Q., improve memory, and sharpen intelligence throughout life.
Gelb and Howell present the most essential research-based wisdom on how to weave the most positive, productive patterns within the infinite loom of your mind. You will activate unused areas of your brain, tone your mental muscles, and enliven all your faculties. And, you’ll cultivate greater confidence and healthy optimism as you discover just how quickly you can generate positive results by applying the techniques you will learn.
Although you may be familiar with the idea that continuous learning, healthy diet, and regular exercise are important for cultivating your mind through the years, here you’ll find this common sense guidance presented in a framework that emphasizes reliable, helpful and practical advice. And, you’ll learn cutting edge research, such as the dramatic effect that attitude has on your longevity, how to use the techniques devised by the ancient Greeks to strengthen your memory, and how to balance your moods and emotions for optimal brain function.
Extensive research reveals that accumulated stress is the greatest cause of age-related mental and physical decline. Included with this book are downloadable Brain Sync®, Brain Wave Training audio files designed to dissolve accumulated stress and optimize your mental performance. This easy-to-use audio technology is clinically proven to balance the right and left hemispheres of your brain, creating states of deep calm and high coherence - the same kind of coherence associated with the creativity of great minds like Leonardo da Vinci and Thomas Edison.
You are about to discover that the power of your brain is greater than anything you may have previously imagined. You possess an astounding instrument of intelligence, and you are on the verge of learning how to unleash its vast potential.