Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Mature MInd, Gene Cohen

From the summary of The Mature Mind, the Positive Power of the Aging Brain, by Gene Cohen, M.D., Ph. D. :

"A great deal of research, both psychological and physiological, has demonstrated that creativity is good for one's health. And it's not just that people who are engaged creatively are healthier to begin with. The very act of engaging one's mind in creative ways affects health directly via the many mind/both connections. Our rains are deeply connected to our bodies via nerves, hormones,and the immune system. Anything that stimulates the brain, reduced stress,and promotes a more balanced emotional response will trigger positive changes in the body."

Cohen describes large NIH sponsored studies that support his conclusion. This book is the best news I've read in a very long time. Among the findings that I especially am glad to read of is that the right brain/left brain functions we've all read about are indeed true for those young people who were in the original brain imaging studies. But finally gerontologist like Cohen began to look at mature brains doing the same tasks. They found the mature brains uses BOTH sides for problem solving and came up with very creative answers.

The title, as you see is Mature MIND, and I'm writing about brain. Cohen calls mind/brain two sides of the same coin and does not philosophically try to define mind. That would be another book of a different sort. I am content dealing with brain although, of course, I believe I have something called mind. But it seems unnecessary -- at least right now -- to quibble about which is what. I am happy to celebrate what I have suspected, that creativity does not fade. Oh, there are critics who write that this or that novelist, poet, composer did all his best work before he was 40. Some did, but I suspect if a tally were done as many would have done brilliant work later in life -- once people began living in good health beyond 50 or 60.


Marie aka Grams aka Gramarme said...

How synchronistic (is that a word?) for you to write about this. I'm teaching a class this week called Creative Meditation, and your excerpt fits perfectly with what I want to introduce. Thanks for doing the research for me.

Kass said...

I feel a lot more integrated and connected (maybe even more creative) since I started blogging. It's been a great mental exercise.

Conda V. Douglas said...

They're proving more and more that a working brain is a healthy brain no matter what your age--good news for every creative person!