Training the brain on computers may improve memory

Researchers at the University of Southern California say that seniors may be able to the make the most out of their active living by improving memory function using computer-based exercises.

The effects of the training were measured following an eight week program where nearly 500 seniors were given five hours of exercises to do per week.

"[The] improvements generalized to standardized measures of memory and people noticed improvements in their lives," said lead author Dr Elizabeth Zelinsky.

Training the brain on computers may improve memory "What this means is that cognitive decline is no longer an inevitable part of aging. Doing properly designed cognitive activities can enhance our abilities as we age."

The participants were able to increase their ability to process information by up to one-third compared to baseline data, according to the study, and they told researchers that common activities like remembering names or following conversations became easier.

Participants were able to maintain these improvements up to three months after the program, but the tangible result was that "now I don't have to write down shopping lists… and I almost never walk into a room and forget why anymore," according to participant Margie Allen.

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