For many years, scientists thought that the human brain simply decayed over time and its dying cells led to memory slips, fuzzy logic, negative thinking, and even depression. But new research from neuroscien tists and psychologists suggests that, in fact, the brain reorganizes, improves in important functions, and even helps us adopt a more optimistic outlook in middle age. Growth of white matter and brain connectors allow us to recognize patterns faster, make better judgments, and find unique solutions to problems. Scientists call these traits cognitive expertise and they reach their highest levels in middle age.
In her impeccably researched book, science writer Barbara Strauch explores the latest findings that demonstrate, through the use of technology such as brain scans, that the middle-aged brain is more flexible and more capable than previously thought. For the first time, long-term studies show that our view of middle age has been misleading and incomplete. By detailing exactly the normal, healthy brain functions over time, Strauch also explains how its optimal processes can be maintained. Part scientific survey, part how-to guide,The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brainis a fascinating glimpse at our surprisingly talented middle-aged minds.
Are we too obsessed with excess? What can childhood teach us about bad behaviour? And should we be happy, or is there something better we might be? In On Balance, acclaimed psychoanalyst Adam Phillips explores a variety of urgent concerns related to how we attempt to manage our conflicting desires, needs and motives. In essays on excess, childhood development, fairy tales and the pursuit of happiness, Phillips provides exhilarating arguments, witty wordplay and much intellectual and emotional food for thought on literature and life.
Why is the Western world's treatment of mental illness so flawed? Who really benefits from psychiatry? And why would a patient in Nigeria have a much greater chance of recovery than one in the UK?
In Doctoring the Mind, leading clinical psychologist Richard Bentall reveals the shocking truths behind the system of mental health care in the West. With a heavy dependence on pills and the profit they bring, psychiatry has been relying on myths and misunderstandings of madness for too long, and builds on methods which can often hinder rather than help the patient.
Bentall argues passionately for a new future of mental health, one that considers the patient as an individual and redefines our understanding and treatment of madness for the twenty-first century.