Your Brain Through Your Ages; Stages of Cognitive Development by Prof Ray Miller


Title of talk:

Your brain through your ages; Stages of cognitive development.


Bullet points of what your talk:

  • The brain is the very centre of our sense of being and function.
  • Despite recent advances, much remains obscure about its operation and consciousness.
  • However, we know that the brain develops and changes throughout our lives.
  • What are the implications for our thinking and behaviour?
  • Can we maintain good brain health into our older years?


A few paragraphs on your subject:

At birth, the average baby’s brain is about a quarter of the size of the average adult brain. Incredibly, it doubles in size in the first year. It keeps growing to about 80% of adult size by age 3 and 90% – nearly full grown – by age 5.


And the changes don’t stop there. Your brain continues to change and mature, reaching adulthood, on average, in the mid 20s, before stabilising and eventually beginning a slow decline.


What does this mean for your individual growth and development? In particular, what can you do to maximise your brain’s function and wellbeing? Can you slow the decline in older age and minimise the potential for mental deterioration and dementia?


This talk will examine the life history of your brain and its wellbeing. Indeed, continued stimulation and education is one of the important contributing factors to brain health.


A few paragraphs about you:

I am a retired Clinical and Health Psychologist. For 35 years I worked in the NHS in both England and Scotland. When I retired, in 2010, I was the Professional Advisor for Psychology in NHS Lothian.


However, Psychology was never just a qualification nor a career. It fascinated me from an early stage as a way to help understand people and life. After retirement, I kept up involvement in my professional body, the British Psychological Society, in several roles.


I also give public talks in a number of settings, including Ragged University, and currently hold an Honorary Professorship at Heriot Watt University. Recently I have been acting as Professional Advisor to 1Mind, who are developing online access to counselling and mental wellbeing.




What free internet knowledge resources would you recommend?

Brain Development:


How does the brain age across the lifespan? New studies offer clues. Our brains are built to change over our lifetime, meeting the challenges set by every life stage. By Caitlin Gilbert:


12 ways to keep your brain young


8 Ways to Boost Your Brain as You Age


Exercise for the brain?


What are your weblinks?

Public Email – [email protected]


This event took place on 24th September 2023 at The Outhouse (12A Broughton Street Lane, Edinburgh)