Book
The Mature Mind - the positive power of the aging brain – Gene D. Cohen (Japanese Edition – translated by Hiroyuki Murata and Masako Takebayashi, supervised under Kazuo Noda)
December 18, 2006
Diamond, Inc.

“People can change at any age.”
“It’s never too late to start something new.”
These words have been told again and again over the ages. They had no scientific evidence, but were accepted as traditional instructions.

This book, however, explains the positive meanings of aging based on the latest researches in neuroscience. The author, with 35 years of experience as a psychiatrist, gives us new ideas about aging. A book as convincing and encouraging about aging as this one has never been out before.

People continue developing at any age, because older brains can create new neurons. Brains will continue to change dynamically. These scientifically proved facts are not known to many people, except for neuroscientists.

The author explains not only these facts that were proved by the latest researches, but also the developmental intelligence of older adults based on his interviews to thousands of older adults. There are many books available in this field for scientists or doctors, but this one is not for specialists. It starts from neuroscience, but it talks about retired lifestyles, and it gives us useful ideas and suggestions to spend a meaningful and creative second half of our lives. This is a very unique enlightening book.

I’ll appreciate it, if you read this book and send me your comments on it.

Hiroyuki Murata

[Contents]


1. The Power of Older Minds
2. Harnessing Developmental Intelligence
3. The Second Half of Life: Phases I and II
4. The Second Half of Life: Phases III and IV
5. Cognition, Memory, and Wisdom
6. Cultivating Social Intelligence
7. Reinventing Retirement
8. Creativity and Aging

[Recommendations]

“All’s Well That Ends Well” How can we realize these words by Shakespeare? This book tells us exactly what we should do.
--- Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara, President of St. Luke’s Hospital in Tokyo

I do agree with the author’s message that people never stop developing as long as they keep learning.
--- Ryuta Kawashima, Professor at Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer, Tohoku University.

[Reviews by Media]

When you get older, you often realize how forgetful you’ve become. For example, you recognize someone, but cannot remember his/her name. You don’t need to be depressed to step into the old age, though. If you continue learning, your brain will remain young and active. This book, by a renowned psychiatrist and gerontologist in the USA, proves this encouraging fact.

The author tells us that our brains create new neurons even after adulthood. According to the latest scientific researches, our brains continue to change all our lives. So the author insists that we should perceive aging as a process of development, instead of a process of declining. He proposes various strategies to awake and utilize our intellectual potential, based on his numerous interview researches with older adults. He even takes the case of Katsushika Hokusai, a famous Ukiyoe painter, who enjoyed his gold age from the end of his 60’s. The author’s suggestions must be useful, as they sound practical, such as playing games or puzzles, participating in a lecture or a class of an unknown field to you.
--- The Nikkei newspaper


The author is a renowned psychiatrist in the USA. He is not advocating “anti-aging.” What he insists is that “older brains can grow.” It is based on the latest research data and his own experiences in this field, as he gives us many examples. After reading this book, I’m sure that your established theory about aging will be disproved and that you will feel like accepting your old age positively.
--- Shukan Asahi


This book tells us that aging is a developmental process and not a decline.
--- Senior Business Market magazine


After I read this book, I thought about my long-time favorite towel. When it was brand new, it didn’t absorb water that well. After using it and washing it again and again, it gradually gets worn out and feels comfortable to the skin and it absorbs water well. Probably it is a bit like our brain’s process of development. What’s different with our brain from a towel is that it never gets worn out completely. The latest researches and the real episodes that the author gathered show us some new encouraging facts.
--- Korei Syakai Journal (Aging Society Journal)


The latest neuroscience researches found out that our brain continues developing at any age. This book is a must for those who are concerned about his/her brain age.
--- PR magazine “City of Fujimino”


“Anti-aging” is a popular word now, which is based on a negative precondition that aging is a process of decline. The author of this book, however, explains clearly that aging is a developmental process to become a truly matured person. As an active psychiatrist, he gives us latest research data and various examples of famous or obscure people who made great achievements at their older age, such as Freud who wrote his most famous thesis after he became 65, and an artist whose talent flowered at the age of 94.

Many new facts about aging clarified in this book ask us about the real meaning of the mandatory retirement age and the life after retirement. The author points out that the time planning is as important as the financial planning for retirement. It is best if you can make your own social portfolio (just like your financial portfolio) for your time planning. I recommend this book to FP’s.
--- Journal of Financial Planning


Aging is growing. I didn’t know the fact that an adult’s brain continue to create new neurons until I read this book. This is a fact that had been proved scientifically. It is common knowledge among neuroscientists. Many years ago when I was a teenager, my teacher used to tell us that we should study hard while we were young, based on the belief that the older we get, the more neurons we lose in our brain. I didn’t know until now that this belief had been proved wrong already in the 1960’s.

The author is an authority of gerontology. Based on his clinical experiences, he explains us clearly that our brain continues developing as we grow older. He also gives us many examples to suggest a lifestyle to make our retirement life more meaningful, active and creative.

After reading this book, you will realize that we continue to grow until the end of our lives. In recent years Japanese corporations introduced a new “performance-based personnel management” system. Now, many of them are amending this system after not much fruit out of it. This move must have something to do with the facts about our growing brain.
--- Fuji Sankei Business i


New facts about aging! This book brings us hopes for a bright future, telling us that aging is not a process of declining but a process of developing. It is proved by the most advanced scientific researches and it is told by a renowned psychiatrist with many years of experiences. And it has a lot of stories of real people as examples of lifestyles after retirement.

As I kept reading, I realized that this is not only an enlightening book for older adults, but also a business book for those who target older adults, since it gives us many ideas on how to market this generation. The last part where the author tells us about retirement life is especially interesting.

This is a Japanese translation of an American book called “The Mature Mind”. The Japanese translator, Hiroyuki Murata is an authority in aging business in Japan. In an afterword he advocates anti-“anti-aging”. Hopefully there will be new business models developed from this new way of thinking.
--- Leisure Industry Data


Brain training has lately attracted considerable attention. It is because many of us worry about our failing memory or losing flexibility in thinking as we get older. However, this book teaches us that these declines are only one aspect of aging.

Like Katsushika Hokusai, who painted his most famous “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji” after the age of 60, there are many cases that one’s creativity became in full bloom in second half of one’s life.

This book corrects our misunderstanding about our brain’s ability. It explains us that our brain will continue to develop, depending on our lifestyle. Many true stories are told, too, that encourage older adults who are afraid of aging. Of course, you’ve got to do something to keep your brain developing. There is no easy way for that. What we should keep in mind is that our awareness and commitment suitable for each of our developmental phase is the driving force for our growth.
--- Shoko Journal


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