What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close
With rendition switcher

Transcript

Question: How we slow memory loss as we age?

Robert Butler: Well, one of the things of course is to avoid high blood pressure, diabetes, other conditions, which compromise the circulation to the brain as perhaps the most powerful thing we can do. Not smoke is another good example. Not get obese.

Robert Butler: Well, if you practice with memory, there are ways of sustaining and certainly learning new vocabularies, learning new opportunities like musical instruments or a new language - all of those things seem to help and build a better memory and better intellectual functioning with age. 

Question: Can science fix memory?

Robert Butler: Well the promise of science is that at the most basic level, studies that are under way to understand the differences between past memory and its maintenance and new memories because new memories when they come in have to register and when they register, they then get put into a retrieval system. So, we are beginning to learn more about exactly what does happen in memory through scientific point of view.  From the practical point of view as I have already said most important is to exercise that brain and take on new challenges.

Robert Butler: By and large drugs have not been;if anything, they tend to be negative towards the brain. Most drugs that are on the market, unfortunately. Now, an antihypertensive medication that prevents you from getting strokes, that certainly prevents brain damage and there are drugs, several, that are available if you already have Alzheimer's disease, it will help a little, but only for a short amount of time. So, there is no promising drug that I am aware of that really will achieve the result of an increased brain function.

Recorded on: Mar 17 2008

 

Memory Loss and Old Age

Newsletter: Share: