Plasticity, Mobility and Getting More than Expected

If you'd asked me which of the psychology classes I most wanted to take, if scheduling conflicts didn't occur, it's be courses in Industrial Psych, Educational Psych, Perception and Cognition. The idea of taking Psychology of Aging didn't appeal.

But the professor teaching the course did.

I've had this professor for two previous classes, like her teaching style and when she told me I didn't have to be on campus for class three days a week as stated in the course catalog (the third meeting would be a homework assignment and discussion topic online every Friday), I was in. The material might not be the most interesting, I thought, but at least the instructor would make it somewhat entertaining.

I was wrong. This is fascinating stuff that I would have missed if I hadn't looked beyond the mistaken notion that it was merely the study of 'old people'. Add to the positive of a good instructor the fact that she'd chosen a textbook written by the author of another text that I think I raved about here last January. (the author's blurb stated "John likes to contemplate the administrative abilities of Kirk, Picard, Sisco, Janeway and Archer while consuming chocolate.")

Then I actually got into the first chapter and wow, it supports a lot of things I've said about/to family members for years. The second chapter? Even more things that backed up things I've considered.

*The less active you are as you age, the more memory deteriorates.

*The more social you are, and continue challenging your brain with puzzles, and participate in some form of aerobic activity, the more brain plasticity you retain. (basically, this activity keeps the synapses firing)

The biggie, though-if you have hip/mobility issues that make you likely to fall frequently, if you don't engage in some alternative therapies (water therapy, rolling therapies to dislodge the ear crystals that affect balance), the more you will fall. Unfortunately, there is a direct correlation between frequent falls and mortality.

I'm wondering if there have been this many interesting revelations in three class sessions, what will the remaining 25 classes hold? It's really cool to see the proof behind things that always seemed logical.

Oh, and Gerontology? Not the study of old people! It's the study of those who have reached maturation. (Ed tells me they don't study him, because he hasn't reached it yet. Comedian)

And Dr. H? Thanks for encouraging me to take the class...


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