How to Become a ‘Superager’
For people who have mentally age well, their brains show thicker regions in specific areas relative to those suffering from classic aging signs. But - drop notions of this being the outer regions of the brain which are classically presented as the region of higher function. This "triune brain" frame is incorrect and has been for awhile within brain research. Rather, it is in the more inner regions where the brain works to bridge the analytical with the emotional that are shown to be enhanced. In the end the researchers do not know what it is that leads to this outcome but nonetheless they have recommendations. They state that people should work those regions of the brain through strenuous work. Be that analytical, physical or emotional work. The researchers say pushing oneself into those areas that are challenging and difficult (to a point) are what leads to benefit. In other words - don't take the easy path. (Is this our underlying puritan meme coming out? Or an actual benefit... ?)
From the New York Times by LISA FELDMAN BARRETT DEC. 31, 2016Think about the people in your life who are 65 or older. Some of them are experiencing the usual mental difficulties of old age, like forgetfulness or a dwindling attention span. Yet others somehow manage to remain mentally sharp. My father-in-law, a retired doctor, is 83 and he still edits books and runs several medical websites.
Why do some older people remain mentally nimble while others decline? “Superagers” (a term coined by the neurologist Marsel Mesulam) are those whose memory and attention isn’t merely above average for their age, but is actually on par with healthy, active 25-year-olds. My colleagues and I at Massachusetts General Hospital recently studied superagers to understand what made them tick.