6. The making and breaking of memories

Can’t find your glasses? Temporarily mislaid the children? Don’t despair—“Reclaim your brain.”1 This is the bold promise of Lumosity.com, a website offering brain-training exercises for a monthly fee, for those of us whose gears are cranking a bit slower these days—perhaps even grinding to an embarrassing halt altogether. There are video games, too, marketed to a swelling audience of boomers attracted by any and all products that might act as antidotes for neuronal loss (applied sparingly but regularly—like Rogaine for the brain). Nintendo’s Brain Age claims to “Give your brain the workout it needs.” The website pictures a happy middle-aged mom and dad on the couch with their teenaged daughter, and all ...

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