|Understanding the Brain’s Brake Pedal in Neural Plasticity: Scientific American|
wow! could my 60-year-old brain become more like it was when i was younger? when i could remember all of the words that i cannot pull out of memory while lecturing or just talking? when i could remember names (well, sort of remember them)? when i could work more efficiently, getting more done? when i could concentrate, pay attention, and hear better? as this article indicates, at my age the brake pedal has been pushed down — not pedal to the metal, as in senility. but enough to let me know that i am not the me i was at 28, which is the age i still imagine myself to be. but the mirror reminds me that the inevitability of age shows in the face and neck, the hands, and the extra-padded frame. what we know about the brain is so astonishing to me, because when i was a girl, all we knew was that aging caused an inevitable deterioration of brain cells. now we know that the brain is indeed plastic — reacting to changes in our environment, creating neurons and their magical paths from one part of the brain to another. if i were 12 today, i might decide to study the brain. from my perspective, the brain is the final frontier.