SEP 04, 2019 11:23 AM PDT

Online Brain Games Enable 'Cognitive Youth'

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

A recent study by researchers in the University of California, Irvine—have found that online brain game activities have a positive effect on extending multitasking cognitive abilities for adults in their 70s and even 80s as well as improving cognitive abilities for individuals 50 years their junior.

The study is important, not only for an aging population but to our highly informational world that includes an increasing multimedia environment as it threatens our attention and our ability to multitask.

Mark Steyvers a UCI professor of cognitive sciences. Credit: Steve Zylius / UCI

"The brain is not a muscle, but like our bodies, if we work out and train it, we can improve our mental performance," said lead author Mark Steyvers, a UCI professor of cognitive sciences. "We discovered that people in the upper age ranges who completed specific training tasks were able to beef up their brain's ability to switch between tasks in the game at a level similar to untrained 20- and 30-year-olds."

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and describes the cognitive cost of multitasking which impacts function by threatening focus. The study focused on a Lumosity--an online platform with brain training games. They chose to study "Ebb and Flow" -- a task-switching game that challenges brain ability to shift between cognitive processes.

"Medical advances and improved lifestyles are allowing us to live longer," Steyvers said. "It's important to factor brain health into that equation. We show that with consistent upkeep, cognitive youth can be retained well into our golden years."

Source: Science Daily


About the Author
Doctorate (PhD)
Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
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