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Train your middle-age brain

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If you often find yourself chalking up things to a “senior moment,” it may be time to train your aging brain.

Scientists have confirmed that brains continue to grow through and beyond middle age. The trick is finding ways to keep brain connections in good condition and to grow more of them.

“The brain is plastic and continues to change, not in getting bigger but allowing for greater complexity and deeper understanding,” says Kathleen Taylor, a professor at St. Mary’s College of California.

One way to nudge neurons in the right direction is for adults to challenge their assumptions. Learning new facts isn’t as valuable as “bumping up against people and ideas” that are different and getting out of your comfort zone.

For example, take a history class where you’re reading new, multiple viewpoints. Then reflect on how what you’ve learned has changed your worldview.

Or simply take a different route to work.

— Adapted from “How to Train the Aging Brain,” Barbara Strauch, The New York Times.

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