Review of The Wisdom Paradox

The Wisdom Paradox:
How your mind can grow stronger as your brain grows older
by Elkhonon Goldberg, Simon and Schuster
337 pages, notes and index, £14.99 hardback, ISBN 0-7432-6401-0

Reviewed by Susan Blackmore for Focus November 2005

The subtitle says it all! But don’t expect a superficial self-help manual. In this fascinating exploration of aging brains, Goldberg interweaves neuroscience with the lives of famous people and stories from his own neurological patients, to show that as we lose energy, memory and speed, our brains may develop new powers of pattern recognition, decision making and insight – the basics of wisdom. As someone with elderly parents and heading that way myself I enjoyed learning about my aging brain and was greatly encouraged by Goldberg’s motto; “If we value wisdom, then aging is a fair price to pay for it.”