Penguin £9.99 (221pp) from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
The Secret Life Of The Grown-up Brain, By Barbara Strauch
Friday 22 April 2011
The cartoonish cover of this book might give the impression that it is a lowbrow read but it turns out that its writer is a Pulitzer prize-winning science journalist who has previously delved into the teenage brain and who knows her stuff.
She takes us through the neurological ageing process and the role nutrition, genetics and the environment plays on grey matter. The good news is that our brains are at their peak from 40 to 60 not in our 20s as was previously believed.
The trade off is worsening memory for improved flexibility and judgement (in ordinary parlance, we grow wiser with age). It's a timely book for a society that is increasingly inflicted by dementia, yet refusing to face up to growing old.
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
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