|Early Alzheimer’s in parent exacts heavy toll on young adult children
||Some twentysomethings may find themselves thrown into the unfamiliar role of their parent’s caregiver.
|Why teens are impulsive, addiction-prone and should protect their brains
||Research into how the human brain develops shows that a teenager's frontal lobe isn't fully insulated, so signals move slowly.
|Does Your "Real" Age Match Your Age on Paper?
In her 1928 novel, The Hotel, Elizabeth Bowen presents the following declaration: "Isn't it funny that for everybody there seems to be just one age at which they are really themselves? I mean, there are women you meet who were obviously born to be twenty (and pretty at that) and who seem to have lost their way since, and men you do wish you'd known when they were, say thirty, or twenty four, or feel sorry you mayn't come across them when they're forty or fifty-five, and children . . . who are simply shaping up to be pale, sarcastic women of twenty-nine, who won't, once they're that, ever grow older.”
Certain wines have a particular moment when they should be poured into goblets, certain fruits have a ripeness that almost begs for the sweet first bite, certain paintings are seen best in an instant of light that passes almost as quickly as it appears. Maybe it’s the same with us: maybe there are moments when we are most ourselves and this is what we glimpse when we imagine ourselves as a certain age.
This idea is about the true age of a person, the age one has always been meant to be, the age one works up to and then backs down from. It seems to be a topic some folks have spent time thinking about--certainly more than time that I expected.
I figured that my husband Michael would laugh or be baffled by the question about how old he pictures himself, but when I asked, he didn’t miss a beat, didn’t even raise his eyes from the paper. “I’m about 15,” he answered. What could I do but agree?
My brother turned 63 last year and was perplexed. “I’m not supposed to be 63,” he announced, explaining with exaggerated emphasis that “Dad is supposed to be 63.” Unprepared for this mandate, I asked, “How old are you supposed to be?” since it seemed--in the context of this highly illogical discussion--a logical question. “I’m supposed to be around 22.” He sounded pretty confident about it. Curious, I asked “And me?” “You’re about 12,” he answered with alacrity, as if I had always been twelve and always would be.
Inevitably, I presume former undergraduate students remain between the ages of 18 and 22, even when they’re running their own marketing companies, living in the suburbs, and having baby after baby. They’ll mail me photographs of the latest kid and I’ll have to shake my brain around to realize that what they’re holding in their arms is their own offspring, not their younger sibling.
What is indisputable is this: no member of any population ages faster than other people’s children. I’ll be talking on the phone with my friend their toddlers will be gurgling happily into the receiver. The next time I call these same children will have just taken the MCATs.
And it’s not like I’m out of touch, it’s just that a person simply can’t keep up. I have no idea what kinds of birthday cards to send: I’ll send one with a clown button saying “IT’S MY SPECIAL DAY” to a friend’s child only to discover that the child in question will have recently purchased his own marina.
I pretty much think of myself as being 46. Okay, 45; I shave a year off, not for the sake of vanity but because saying “46” sounds as awkward as when little kids tell you they’re five-and-a-half, with the last bit tacked on for show.
But maybe that’s because in reality I’ve been 45 or thereabouts my entire life; maybe that’s why this age is as comfortable for me as a tailor-made dressing gown. I slipped my arms into my forties and, with a little jiggle here and there for the finer points of adjustment, those years fit just fine.
A couple of weeks ago I turned 58. It sounds older than it feels, but I'm always good with birthdays because they're like getting a badge for attendance--for having shown up in the world for 365 days in a row.
What is your essential age? Does it really matter?
Blog to Post to:
Snow White Doesn't Live Here Anymore
Certain wines have a particular moment when they should be poured into goblets, certain fruits have a ripeness that almost begs for the sweet first bite, certain paintings are seen best in an instant of light that passes almost as quickly as it appears. Maybe it’s the same with us.
Mature Audiences Only:
|Neuroscientist: Brain-to-brain communication has arrived. Here’s how we did it
||You may remember neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis — he built the brain-controlled exoskeleton that allowed a paralyzed man to kick the first ball of the 2014 World Cup. What’s he working on now? Building ways for two minds to send messages brain to brain.The post Neuroscientist: Brain-to-brain communication has arrived. Here’s how we did it appeared first on PsyPost.
||Taking care of someone who needs assistance can be rewarding. But being a caregiver can cause emotional and physical stress. When you provide long term care to someone who has an illness, you may be more vulnerable to sickness, anxiety, medical problems and depression. “Caregivers who devote all their time...
|Does getting ‘expensive’ drug affect how much patient benefits?
||People’s perceptions of the cost of a drug may affect how much they benefit from the drug, even when they are receiving only a placebo, according to a new study of people with Parkinson’s disease published in the January 28, 2015 online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. “Patients’ [...]The post Does getting ‘expensive’ drug affect how much patient benefits? appeared first on PsyPost.
|The potential benefits of synaesthesia
||Can synaesthesia have cognitive benefits and can it be taught? Those are the questions asked by Jack Dutton in an article published in the February issue of The Psychologist. Synaesthesia was first reported in 1812, but only recognised as a neurological condition in the 1990s. There are over 60 known types of synaesthesia, a condition [...]The post The potential benefits of synaesthesia appeared first on PsyPost.
|Mental health is a global issue – here’s how neuroscience can cross international boundaries
||Neuroscience holds the key to understanding the brain – and to developing more effective treatments for people with mental health disorders. But if we are to translate the many neuroscience discoveries into better brain health and well-being for people globally, we will also need strategies and official recommendations on how these findings can be implemented. [...]The post Mental health is a global issue – here’s how neuroscience can cross international boundaries appeared first on PsyPost.
|Are crude conspiracies right? Research shows nations really do go to war over oil
||The “thirst for oil” is often put forward as a near self-evident explanation behind military interventions in Libya, for instance, or Sudan. Oil, or the lack of oil, is also said to be behind the absence of intervention in Syria now and in Rwanda in 1994. This of course clashes with the rhetoric around intervention, [...]The post Are crude conspiracies right? Research shows nations really do go to war over oil appeared first on PsyPost.
|Picture this: Technology tightens the focus on who’s watching women
||A new analysis is being called the first of its kind to examine visual attention and gender in social groups, and how those observations can influence the behavior of who’s getting the looks. The research by Mary Jean Amon, a doctoral student in the University of Cincinnati’s psychology program, is published in the current online [...]The post Picture this: Technology tightens the focus on who’s watching women appeared first on PsyPost.
|No direct link found between rising inequality and reduced trust
||Does rising economic inequality causes trust to fall in society and thus endanger social cohesion? Recent academic research appears to support this notion. However, a study from the University of Luxembourg disagrees. As recent work from economists from the University of Luxembourg indicates, the apparent link between income inequality and lower general trust could be [...]The post No direct link found between rising inequality and reduced trust appeared first on PsyPost.
|Playing with puzzles and blocks may build children’s spatial skills
||Play may seem like fun and games, but new research shows that specific kinds of play are actually associated with development of particular cognitive skills. Data from a nationally representative study show that children who play frequently with puzzles, blocks, and board games tend to have better spatial reasoning ability. The research is published in [...]The post Playing with puzzles and blocks may build children’s spatial skills appeared first on PsyPost.
|Chimps with higher-ranking moms do better in fights
||For chimpanzees, just like humans, teasing, taunting and bullying are familiar parts of playground politics. An analysis of 12 years of observations of playground fights between young chimpanzees in East Africa finds that chimps with higher-ranked moms are more likely to win. The results come from an analysis of daily field notes recorded from 2000 [...]The post Chimps with higher-ranking moms do better in fights appeared first on PsyPost.
|Mental health monitoring through ‘selfie’ videos and social media tracking
||Researchers at the University of Rochester have developed an innovative approach to turn any computer or smartphone with a camera into a personal mental health monitoring device. In a paper to be presented this week at the American Association for Artificial Intelligence conference in Austin, Texas, Professor of Computer Science Jiebo Luo and his colleagues [...]The post Mental health monitoring through ‘selfie’ videos and social media tracking appeared first on PsyPost.
|How Do You Struggle Through Bipolar Depression?
||I received an email from a reader in South Africa, no less. How do I deal with bipolar depression? I am not sure I am qualified to give a statement here as I don’t always succeed in beating the depression, but here are a few tips I’ve learned along this...
|In Times of Great Stress, Reach for the Pause Button
||So I decided to move across the country and, not surprisingly, it’s turned my whole world upside down. While I’m micromanaging every detail and packing boxes when I go to bed instead of counting sheep, my anxiety and depression think they’ve won the Super Bowl. I’m taking this opportunity to...
|Seeing selves as overweight may be self-fulfilling prophecy for some teens
||Teens who mistakenly perceive themselves as overweight are actually at greater risk of obesity as adults, according to research findings forthcoming in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. “Our research shows that psychological factors are important in the development of obesity,” says psychological scientist and study author Angelina Sutin of Florida [...]The post Seeing selves as overweight may be self-fulfilling prophecy for some teens appeared first on PsyPost.
|Beer compound could help fend off Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases
||The health-promoting perks of wine have attracted the spotlight recently, leaving beer in the shadows. But scientists are discovering new ways in which the latter could be a more healthful beverage than once thought. They’re now reporting in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that a compound from hops could protect brain cells from [...]The post Beer compound could help fend off Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases appeared first on PsyPost.
|Children feel most positively about mothers who respect their autonomy
||Research shows that the quality of mother-child relationships greatly influences children’s development socially, emotionally and academically. Although previous studies have demonstrated the importance of promoting children’s autonomy, available research often has not addressed ways parental respect for autonomy may affect parent-child relationships. Now, University of Missouri researchers have found that mothers who support their children’s [...]The post Children feel most positively about mothers who respect their autonomy appeared first on PsyPost.
|Concentrating on word sounds helps reading instruction and intervention
||A neuroimaging study by a University at Buffalo psychologist suggests that phonics, a method of learning to read using knowledge of word sounds, shouldn’t be overlooked in favor of a whole-language technique that focuses on visually memorizing word patterns, a finding that could help improve treatment and diagnosis of common reading disorders such as dyslexia. [...]The post Concentrating on word sounds helps reading instruction and intervention appeared first on PsyPost.