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Neuroculture, active ageing and the ‘older brain’ : problems, promises and prospects

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  • Hm Sociology
  • Linguistics
  • Medicine
  • Philosophy


This article explores the characteristics of a newly emergent neuroculture and its relationship to cultures of ageing; in particular, the social meanings associated with active ageing and cognitive health and the discourses and sciences around memory and the ageing brain. The argument proposes a critical perspective on this relationship by looking at the shifting boundaries between standards of normality and abnormality, values of health and illness, practices of therapy and enhancement, and the lines demarcating Third Age (healthy, active and agentic) and Fourth Age (dependency, loss and decline) periods of ageing. Conclusions offer further reflections on the complex questions that arise regarding expectations, hopes and ethics in relation to the promises and perils of a neurocultural future.

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