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Daniel Levitin has good news about how aging changes our brains

By Kobo • April 10, 2020Kobo in Conversation Podcast

"As we get older we're more likely to become more compassionate, to feel empathy for others, to become more tolerant of others."

Neuroscientist, musician, and author Daniel Levitin wanted to give his parents a book on how to keep themselves mentally active in their 80s--but he couldn't find one. Being a neuroscientist himself, and since a similar fruitless book search spurred him to begin his career as a writer of popular science with his 2006 bestseller on music's effect on the brain This Is Your Brain on Music, it was clear that once again he was going to have to write the book he was looking for.

By bringing together the latest neuroscience on aging, he discovered that not only can an older brain learn new things, but there are areas of emotional intelligence that are specifically enhanced by age. The single most important factor for maintaining mental agility is a drive to keep learning, whether that means picking up a new language or a musical instrument. While the brain is a real "use it or lose it" organ, Levitin's optimistic about the many ways we can use it to grow wiser and kinder well into our golden years.

Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives by Daniel J. Levitin

Successful Aging inspires a powerful new approach to how readers think about our final decades, and it will revolutionize the way we plan for old age as individuals, family members, and citizens within a society where the average life expectancy continues to rise.

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