Thursday, 23 January 2014


And the ageing brain/mind

An awful lot of people are concerned about their apparently failing memories. They see and hear far to much careless talk about Altzheimer's disease and fear that they are experiencing 'the first signs'.

I too have problems remembering things, people's names, where I have put something down, all sorts of stuff. I am usually fairly confident that 'it is in there somewhere', 'it will come to me' etc. A useful strategy then is to stop trying to remember. What I was seeking will probably then emerge suddenly into conscious accessibility after a short time. Just relax, get on with something else, it my take a little time but my brain/mind usually come up with something in the end, however deeply it seems buried under the cluttered debris of the years. As a result, I sometimes find it remarkable what a memory I do have – it just isn't instant. It may take patience to remember.

Not to panic, therefore. I expect that my experience in this respect is not uncommon.

I was not surprised to find the that the subject of the following news item has gained such widespread media attention over the last few days:

The model of old, overstuffed computers' slowing down refers to a phenomenon that is a commonplace nowadays. Its application to the ageing brain/mind is instantly recognisable and looks prime facie most plausible.

As far as I am concerned (and I suspect that this must go for a lot of people who have read reports of this), Michael Ramscar's suggestion accords well with subjective experience. It even offers practical pointers towards dealing with the phenomenon for those living with it!

Those with personal and professional reasons to be interested in aging brain/minds, with their practical problems and subjective responses (including anxieties), might like to follow this further:

By the way, I notice that almost without thinking I have written 'brain/mind' – because I just do not know how to assign this phenomenon.

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