The Aging Mind offers an accessible introduction to what research has revealed about how our bodies and brains age, and how these changes affect our everyday experiences and lives. This second edition is fully updated with contemporary studies and neuroscientific findings, to offer an engaging exploration of 25 facets of the physical and mental aging processes.

Written by eminent gerontologist Patrick Rabbitt, who interprets research through his own personal daily experiences, it explores what aging really is and how to accept and manage it. It explores why our sensory and cognitive experiences change as we get older, and what these developments mean for our overall physical and emotional well-being. Key topics explored include memory, intelligence, attention, sleep, vision and hearing, taste and smell, touch and balance, anxiety, depression and perception of the passage of time. It also discusses how far we can keep and develop the skills we have mastered over our lifetimes.

The Aging Mind debunks unhelpful myths about the aging process and offers guidance on how we can age better, allowing us to continue to manage and enjoy our lives. This second edition is invaluable for students and researchers of cognitive gerontology, for professionals working with clients experiencing issues around aging, and for all those interested in understanding their own, or their relatives’ aging.

part |5 pages


chapter 1|3 pages

Talking about old age

part I|48 pages

What is aging?

chapter 2|10 pages

Why and how do we age?

chapter 3|16 pages

How fast do we change?

chapter 5|13 pages

Biological signals of brain aging

part II|48 pages


chapter 6|5 pages

What is memory for?

chapter 7|9 pages

Remembering and planning to do things.

chapter 8|4 pages

Who said that?

chapter 9|9 pages

Losing and finding words and names

chapter 10|9 pages

Remembering the beginnings of our lives

chapter 11|10 pages

Remembering the rest of our lives

part III|39 pages


chapter 12|10 pages


chapter 13|9 pages


chapter 14|9 pages

Taste and smell

chapter 15|9 pages

Fumbling and stumbling

part IV|35 pages

Intelligence, skills and wisdom

chapter 16|11 pages

General smarts

chapter 17|13 pages

Keeping the skills we have learned

chapter 18|9 pages

Reading others’ minds

part V|58 pages

Living with aging

chapter 19|11 pages

Those old blues

Depression and Anxiety

chapter 20|10 pages

The speed of thought

chapter 21|6 pages

Paying attention

chapter 22|9 pages

Good times and bad times

chapter 23|11 pages


chapter 24|9 pages

Time passing

part VI|17 pages

Aging well

chapter 25|15 pages

What can we do about all this?