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Nurturing the Older Brain and Mind Hardcover – January 27, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0262017145 ISBN-10: 0262017148

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 344 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (January 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262017148
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262017145
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,478,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Nurturing the Older Brain and Mind by Pamela Greenwood and Raja Parasuraman is a wonderful new book that provides state-of-the-science level knowledge and thoughtful analysis of our understanding of aging brains and minds. The authors take a unique perspective, focusing their chapters on topics that explore the limits of cognitive and neural plasticity, and suggest that there are a variety of different ways that age-related changes in cognition and brain can be limited. Theories of aging, at different levels of analysis from molecular biology through cognitive science, are seamlessly integrated with up-to-date cross-species research on important issues and topics. The chapters nicely illustrate how the whole of our knowledge is more than the sum of its parts when animal research is integrated with human research from epidemiological studies to randomized controlled trials. Another interesting contribution is a discussion of how we can adapt living and work space, to accommodate the strengths and limitations associated with cognitive aging. A very informative and well-written book that provides a thorough analysis of what we know, and what we don't know, with regard to aging brains and minds.

(Art Kramer, Beckman Institute, University of Illinois)

The problem of age-related brain changes and associated cognitive decline is no doubt a multifactorial one, difficult to study in isolated empirical studies and to cover in comprehensive volumes like this one. However, in this case, the authors have done a superb job of integrating the vast literature related to the complex aging mind-brain relationship.

(Lars Nyberg, Umea University, Sweden)

About the Author

Pamela M. Greenwood is Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at George Mason University.

Raja Parasuraman is University Professor in the Psychology Department at George Mason University. He is the editor of The Attentive Brain (MIT Press, 1998).

More About the Author

Dr. Greenwood received her PhD at SUNY Stony Brook. She went on to a post-doctoral fellowship at the West Haven VA and Yale University to learn event-related potential techniques with Truett Allison and W.R. Goff and conduct basic research on somatic event-related potentials. She eventually moved to Catholic University in Washington, DC, as research faculty to study attention using both electrophysiology and behavioral methods in healthy aging and Alzheimer's disease. At Catholic, she and Raja Parasuraraman developed a large-scale study of the genetics of cognitive aging using both information processing and standardized neuropsychological assessments of cognition as a function of APOE and neurotransmission genes. They moved this study to George Mason University in 2004 and added imaging measures and a longitudinal component. The goal of this research is to study the genetic modulation of cognitive and brain change in midlife by measuring effects of neurotransmission and neurotrophic SNPs, including the Alzheimer susceptibility gene APOE. Brain change is measured in cortical thickness and white matter integrity from MRI scans. With their European collaborators, Drs. Greenwood and Parasuraman are involved in the first large-scale genome-wide study (GWAS) of cognitive aging. Current research efforts are focused on understanding optimal methods of conducting cognitive training, with a goal to supporting a vigorous mental life throughout the lifespan.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rene J. Depontbriand on November 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
- Eminently readable/accessible review of the neuroscience of the older brain. The authors, Drs. Greenwood and Parasurman, provide a deeply researched look at the scientific literature on the aging brain's changing efficiency, expertise-with-experience, physiological make-up, and the growth/decline of various functions.
- In short, noted declines are seen as largely due to illness or disease (e.g., Parkinson's); with advanced notice, the worst effects of these can be ameliorated with treatment and/or off-set by solid performance in other areas. Knowing better how the brain ages, we are in a position to guard against life's inevitabilities but, just as importantly, to exploit those areas in which there is little or no decline. Exercise, diet, social interactions---all can contribute to little or no average loss of cognitive processing well into the healthy brain's later years, even into our 80s.
- No other text brings this literature together either so expertly or so clearly. Any reader interested in what to expect with age, and in learning where and how to protect against declines in some areas while enhancing gains in others, will appreciate the science presented herein. Excellent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By chakeetah on September 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is really a valuable up to date reference on the aging brain. My only complaint is in the editing - I think it was published without adequate grammatical reviewing/editor. There are numerous typos, missing words etc. Also, many of the photos are black and white yet refer to colored diagrams. Then it seems this was caught too late and a sentence is placed in figure or paragraph telling reader to look "elsewhere" in the book for the color diagrams. That is just shoddy editing and not expected from a place like MIT.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Greenwood and Parasuraman are two of the best researchers in the area. They provide a thorough review of quality research done on this topic. There are many misconceptions about this topic, and Greenwood and Parasuraman correct them. The blog healthymemory.wordpress.com contains a number of posts based on this book.
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