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Nurturing the Older Brain and Mind$
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Pamela M. Greenwood and Raja Parasuraman

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780262017145

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262017145.001.0001

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Cognitive Aging: Neither Universal nor Inevitable

Cognitive Aging: Neither Universal nor Inevitable

(p.9) 2 Cognitive Aging: Neither Universal nor Inevitable
Nurturing the Older Brain and Mind

Pamela M. Greenwood

Raja Parasuraman

The MIT Press

This chapter presents studies which demonstrate that cognitive decline in old age is not inevitable. The presence of cognitive and brain plasticity in older adults is discussed along with the ability of older brains to generate new neurons. The chapter presents a study which shows that the only change a healthy aging brain shows is the shrinkage in the prefrontal cortex region. The effect of chronic health issues such as cardiovascular problems, diabetes, and hypertension on the age-related brain and cognitive change is explored. The positive impact of cognitive aging is discussed through highlighting the relationship between distractibility and creativity.

Keywords:   cognitive decline, cognitive plasticity, brain plasticity, prefrontal cortex, cognitive aging

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