The Wisdom Paradox: How Your Mind Can Grow Stronger As Your Brain Grows Older

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Penguin, Feb 16, 2006 - Science - 352 pages
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The Wisdom Paradox explores the aging of the mind from a unique, positive perspective. In an era of increasing fears about mental deterioration, world-renowned neuropsychologist Elkhonon Goldberg provides startling new evidence that though the brain diminishes in some tasks as it ages, it gains in many ways. Most notably, it increases in what he terms “wisdom”: the ability to draw upon knowledge and experience gained over a lifetime to make quick and effective decisions. Goldberg delves into the machinery of the mind, separating memory into two distinct types: singular (knowledge of a particular incident or fact) and generic (recognition of broader patterns). As the brain ages, the ability to use singular memory declines, but generic memory is unaffected—and its importance grows. As an individual accumulates generic memory, the brain can increasingly rely upon these stored patterns to solve problems effortlessly and instantaneously. Goldberg investigates the neurobiology of wisdom, and draws on historical examples of artists and leaders whose greatest achievements were realized late in life.
 

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User Review  - Cheryl_in_CC_NV - LibraryThing

My mother recommended this, and she normally doesn't read science books. I guess she's exercising the right side of her brain, keeping her ability to learn new material and patterns strong. I really ... Read full review

Contents

Title Page Copyright Page Dedication Epigraph Introduction
THE LIFE OF YOUR BRAIN
SEASONS OF THE BRAIN
AGING AND POWERFUL MINDS IN HISTORY
WISDOM THROUGHOUT CIVILIZATIONS
PATTERN POWER
ADVENTURES ON MEMORYLANE Chapter 7 MEMORIES THAT DO NOT FADE
MEMORIES PATTERNS AND THE MACHINERY OF WISDOM
BRAIN DUALITY IN ACTION
MAGELLAN ON PROZAC
THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER
USE YOUR BRAIN AND GET MORE OF
PATTERN BOOSTERS
EPILOGUE
Acknowledgements CHAPTER NOTES
INDEX

UPFRONT DECISIONMAKING
NOVELTY ROUTINES AND TWO SIDES OF THE BRAIN

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About the author (2006)

Elkhonon Goldberg is the author of The Executive Brain and is a clinical professor of neurology at the New York University School of Medicine. He is in private practice in neuropsychology and is an active researcher in the field of cognitive neuroscience.

On the web: http://www.elkhonongoldberg.com/ 

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