The amazing human brain

Joan Hart

Have you noticed how difficult it is to actually remember anything anymore?

I have been hit with a triple whammy with regard to my memory problems. There are the senior moments all of us in my generation deal with i.e. the old joke that the reason women my age can’t have babies is because we would lay them down and forget where we put them.

Then I struggle with major fibromyalgia fog, a strange cognitive disorder that comes with the muscle pain of fibro. Fibro people never have conventions because we would forget the date and could never find our way to the location. And of course there is the loss of short term memory associated with long term use of pain medication.  

While trying to put all these thoughts together for a column, I happened to see Dr. Jeff Brown’s book “The Winner’s Brain” on top of one of the many stacks of books I have lying around here.

Dr. Jeff Brown’s success is one of Lebanon’s best kept secrets. Jeff is a home town boy, born here in October, 1969. I remember that well, because his mother Gretchen and I were in the maternity ward at the Lebanon hospital the same week, and his dad Lowell often met Milan in the hallway there as they came to visit their newborn babies.

Jeff and Mila grew up together and were always friends not only because of the similarity in their ages but also because they were both the only child in their respective families.  Both were raised in Christian homes by devout Christian parents, and have retained a strong faith throughout their lives. They were in the same LHS graduating class of 1988.

Dr. Jeff Brown is a Harvard graduate, a well known author and psychologist, and an acknowledged expert on the human brain.

He is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and a champion of cognitive-behavioral psychology. He is board-certified in both clinical and cognitive-behavioral psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology.

Jeff is also the psychologist for the Boston Marathon medical team and is on Runner’s World magazine’s scientific advisory board. He was present on that fateful day in April 2013 when the bombs went off at the marathon, and was able to render invaluable service and attention to the victims and their families.

I turned to the chapter in his book dealing with memory and re-read it in order to share some of his thoughts with you. My favorite line from the book is “Some memories are embedded in your brain like rocks while others fade like watercolors.”  I’m sure all of you have noticed this as the decades roll by!
Dr. Brown has many more memorable thoughts and tips in this chapter and I will share them with you to the extent my space in this column allows.

For the complete column, see the Weekend print edition of The Daily Record, or view the e-Edition online.


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