Sunday, October 24, 2010

Use it or Lose it!

Anecdotal reports for the past several years have strongly suggested that brain aerobic exercises could help to retard the onset of some mental symptoms of aging. Researched confirmation of this has been slow in coming, but bit by bit evidence is mounting. A recent study by scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), is one of the first to measure both mental performance and changes in neural activity caused by a cognitive training program. In the study, healthy older participants trained on a computer game designed to boost visual perception. After ten hours of training, they not only improved their perceptual abilities significantly, but also increased the accuracy of their visual working memory by about ten percent – bringing them up to the level of younger adults. Working memory is the ability to hold information in mind for brief periods. It is essential to accomplish immediate tasks, such as engaging in conversation with several people.

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