by clicking the "Next" arrow.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Mindful : October 2014
Sadly brain functions peak at age 30 and go downhill from there. Thankfully, scientists are now researching the effectiveness of braintraining on the aging brain. Sharon Begley says what they’re finding out about meditation and cognitive abilities is very promising. Sharon Begley is the senior health and science correspondent at Reuters, author of Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain, and coauthor with Richard Davidson of The Emotional Life of Your Brain. When talk turns to trying to attack the decline in mental capacity that comes with age, we hear a lot about crossword puzzles and braintraining. And common sense might suggest that brain calisthenics would be the most effective way to rage, rage against the dying of the mental light. That’s certainly what the purveyors of braintraining programs claim. But evidence suggests that directly attack- ing our cognitive deficits may be less effective than using indirect approaches—such as exercise and meditation and working on deep-seated men- tal processes—to rejuvenate the mind. Even for those who don’t contract a disease such as Alzheimer’s, the years take a toll on the brain. Processing speed slows down. Signals reaching cortical a reas from the senses become less sharp, more muddled. Production of neurochemicals such as sero- tonin and dopamine drops. Inflammation—the same process as in ha rdening of the arteries—also seems to age the brain. As a result, we get worse a nd worse at multitask- ing, switching attention, and remembering why the heck we just walked into a room. Scientists haven’t been waiting for the final word on the physiological underpin- nings of brain aging before trying to devise ways to combat it. And while there have been some misses, there have been enough hits to give hope to everyone over 30— the age by which many brain functions peak. First, aerobic activity. About a decade ago, psychol- ogists led by Art Kramer of the University of Illinois discovered that, in older adults, taking three vigorous, 40-minute walks per week over six months improved the ability to control attention and inhibit distracting infor- mation, among other → Power Boost Your Aging Brain 26 mindful October 2014 Illustration by Gavin Potenza mind science