Online Brain Training Sharpens Older Minds
Your brain needs regular exercise, too.
A study at King’s College London has found that brain training with online memory and reasoning games can sharpen the minds of older people.
The experiment lasted six months and involved about 7,000 people older than 50. The partcipants were recruited in partnership with the BBC, the Alzheimer’s Society and the Medical Research Council. None had any memory or cognitive decline prior to the experiment.
Those involved in the study were encouraged to play online brain training games for 10 minutes at a time as frequently as they liked, while those in a control group were asked to do simple Internet searches.
The participants were tested on their cognitive function from the start of the experiment, then three months later, then at six months from the start of the research. The researchers found that those who played brain training games for reasoning and problem-solving had stronger cognitive skills when compared to those who did not.
So, just how much should a person play these games? Researchers found the benefits were most apparent when people played the games at least five times a week. Also, those older than 60 who played the games reported that they were able to handle everyday tasks with more ease.
The next phase of research will focus on whether this approach can work as a preventive measure against dementia.