Your brain rewires itself after age 40

I turn 42 later this year, and this would explain a lot. Not in terms of me being unable to be super-efficient and productive, but just in terms of seeing connections everywhere.

In a systematic review recently published in the journal Psychophysiology, researchers from Monash University in Australia swept through the scientific literature, seeking to summarize how the connectivity of the human brain changes over our lifetimes. The gathered evidence suggests that in the fifth decade of life (that is, after a person turns 40), the brain starts to undergo a radical “rewiring” that results in diverse networks becoming more integrated and connected over the ensuing decades, with accompanying effects on cognition.

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Early on, in our teenage and young adult years, the brain seems to have numerous, partitioned networks with high levels of inner connectivity, reflecting the ability for specialized processing to occur. That makes sense, as this is the time when we are learning how to play sports, speak languages, and develop talents. Around our mid-40s, however, that starts to change. Instead, the brain begins becoming less connected within those separate networks and more connected globally across networks. By the time we reach our 80s, the brain tends to be less regionally specialized and instead broadly connected and integrated.

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“During the early years of life, there is a rapid organization of functional brain networks. A further refinement of the functional networks then takes place until around the third and fourth decade of life. A multi-faceted interplay of potentially harmful and compensatory changes can follow in aging,” the reviewers concluded.

Source: The brain undergoes a great “rewiring” after age 40 | Big Think

Gaming on the go (or anywhere)

I finally caved and bought a Steam Deck this week. I’ve loads of Steam games that I’ve collected over the years and some of them are amazing on the Deck. GRID motorsport, for example, as well as Star Wars Squadrons.

This list is a reminder to myself to explore some other, different kinds of games that I don’t usually play.

One of the neat things about the Steam Deck is that even before you’ve wrenched the handheld PC from its cardboard box, you’ll probably already own a bunch of games for it, as it’s designed to be naturally compatible with as much of the existing Steam catalogue as possible. Some games are more Deck-ready than others, however, so if you’re a newly minted owner looking for where to start, perhaps this list of the 30 best Steam Deck games might be of service?

Source: The 30 best Steam Deck games | Rock Paper Shotgun

You don’t have to be the best to be valuable

A timely reminder via Emma Cragg’s latest newsletter that sharing our own perspective is enough. I particularly enjoyed the inclusion of the author’s daughter’s curl at the bottom of the newsletter as a reminder than not everything has to be ‘the best’ to have value.

I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent questioning if anything I have to say is worthy of being shared — questioning my own creativity, my own ideas, my own experiences put into words, my own writing and art. I’ve questioned if it matters at all since there are a million other people doing the same thing. I’ve questioned if it’s just adding more noise and consumption in a world over-stuffed with exactly that. I’ve questioned if it should even be worked on if it isn’t going to be the best. I’ve questioned my own enoughness in relation to what I create, what I put into the world, what I choose to say out loud and how I say it. I’ve questioned this newsletter, these words, this exact moment.

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Yet my questioning of my work bypasses an important truth: no one else can do my work because no one else is me. And no one else can do your work because no one else is you. When I write, I write with my entire being: my lived experience and history, my genes and blood, my vision and longing, my grief and hope, my path and where I come from, my vantage point and opinion, my heart and soul — things only I have that cannot be replicated. Similarly, only you can do the work you do — whether it’s parenting or creating art, working on cars or computers, gardening or running, performing or teaching — only you can do what you do in the exact way you do it.

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We easily forget that what we create is part of a web — part of something bigger — part of a huge tapestry of others sharing themselves and their work in the ways only they can, right alongside us. And when we choose to show up for our work, we add to the web in a way that makes life more full, more rich, more beautiful. We place our piece in the tapestry in a way only we can, which enhances the whole of it. We add our voice to a collective choir who may all be saying the same thing, but how much sweeter is it when there’s a whole room of it, a whole stadium, a whole world?

Source: Not the best | Human Stuff from Lisa Olivera