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In terms of memory, many people begin to notice some loss from their 40s onward, according to Gilles Einstein ’72, who has been researching age-related memory changes for the past 15 years. Fortunately, there are techniques for slowing the rate of memory loss, as Einstein shares in Memory Fitness: A Guide for Successful Aging, coauthored with Mark McDaniel.

Published by Yale University Press, the book has received generous praise within its field.

“This book represents an outstanding survey of research on changes in memory as we age. For anyone 40­ to 50 (or older) who is worried about memory functioning, this book is the best one I know — buy it and read it,” says Henry L. Roediger III, chair of the psychology department at Washington University in St. Louis and president of the American Psychological Society.

The book translates research from the past 10 to 15 years for the general public, says Einstein, a psychology professor at Furman University since 1977. Topics range from Alzheimer’s disease to nutritional supplements to techniques for remembering things.

“It takes advantage of some recent research to make recommendations about lifestyle adjustments,” he says. “One example is a chapter on how physical exercise helps memory. Research shows that just three days a week of brisk walking over six months can improve certain kinds of memory.”

A psychology graduate, Einstein credits Lafayette with giving him an outstanding liberal arts education.

“I found myself extremely well prepared when I went to graduate school,” he says. “(Psychology professor) Burt Cohen provided me with a life-altering experience. When I did honors research with him, I found myself truly engaged in the learning process, where I was going to the library not because I had to, but because I wanted to find out moreHe was inspirational and the Lafayette experience was wonderful.”

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles