This Old Brain

A writer taking part in an aging study explores his senior moments.

I’m lying on my back in the tunnel of an MRI scanner, my skull immobilized in a head coil, which looks like a cage fighter’s mask. There’s a vitamin E capsule taped to the right side of my forehead. The head coil controls variations in the scanner’s magnetic field and the capsule has to do with scan orientation, in the same way that surgeons will write on your right leg so they don’t mistakenly operate on your left. I’m sporting headphones and watching a proje...

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