oks about the brain and neuroscience always interest me, and Sanjay Gupta's Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age qualifies because, while it is written for the lay person, it is a good combination of science and easy to understand examples. Well-documented with studies that explain the way the brain works and what we can do to keep our brains in the best condition possible, the book offers good advice and suggestions to keep our minds sharp.
A few excerpts and comments:
"But it important to know that memory is fundamentally a learning process--the result of constantly interpreting and analyzing incoming information."
"... your memory is not a single system--it's made up of a network of systems, each playing a different role in creating, storing, and recalling."
"The brain remains plastic throughout life and can rewire itself in response to learning. It can also generate new brain cells under the right circumstances."
"...exercise is the only behavioral activity scientifically proven to trigger biological effects that can help the brain." Also, "physical in activity has been calculated to be the most significant risk factor in cognitive decline and the development of dementia."
The author notes that physical exercise has often been sacrificed in schools. Research shows the benefit of physical exercise on learning. (There are tons of articles out there about how physical education/activity increases academic performance.)
There are also plenty of studies that research the affect of physical exercise on other age groups (including my own), but in addition to my own age group, I'm concerned about how taking physical education out of schools has been a mistake that has been detrimental in so many areas of child development.
About brain-training videos, crossword puzzles, and Sudoku which can improve working memory in specific areas, Gupta adds that "...although they can help your brain get better at performing those specific activities, their benefits do not extend to other brain functions like reasoning and problem solving, both of which are key to building cognitive reserve."
The book covers everything from to diet, exercise, learning, and more. The connections Gupta makes about how these behaviors effect the brain provides essential information. It may be common sense in many cases, but the how is important to know.
Building a better brain is important for people of all ages. For children, adults, and the elderly, the book offers scientific and common sense methods to preserve and increase the brain's functions and delay cognitive decline.
Excellent addition to my brain book collection.
NetGalley/Simon & Schuster
Brain/Neuroscience/Aging. Jan., 2020. Print length: 326 pages.