Thursday, May 03, 2007

Train Your Brain

Meghan O'Rourke on the new mania for neuroplasticity.
Neuroplasticity certainly has capacious ramifications, but you could be forgiven for thinking that the mania for harnessing its supposed anti-aging benefits is just our latest form of magical thinking, invoked by baby boomers who've turned away from fussing over their children's brains to ward off their own eventual decline.

...the idea that a little mindful meditation could calm down the forgetful, buzzing frenzy of our brains is still an appealing one. Even if the science is less than solid, maybe the placebo effect will kick in; and in any case, my brain seems to enjoy its crossword-puzzle respites and its Sudoku vacations, the way my muscles enjoy a massage. Or so my mind is telling me. Seven-letter word for "memory loss," anyone?

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