Playing video games can delay mental decay among elderly

Washington: Older people who play video games challenging their mental processing speed could delay the ageing of their minds, a new study has found.

According to the study from the University of Iowa, researchers found that elderly people who played just ten hours of a game priming their mental processing speed and skills, delayed declines by as many as seven years in a range of cognitive skills.

"We know that we can stop this decline and actually restore cognitive processing speed to people," Fredric Wolinsky, professor in the UI College of Public Health and lead author on the paper said.

"So, if we know that, shouldn`t we be helping people? It`s fairly easy, and older folks can go get the training game and play it," he said.

The study comes amidst a burst of research examining why, as we age, our minds gradually lose "executive function," generally considered mission control for critical mental activities, such as memory, attention, perception and problem solving.

The study is published in the journal PLOS One.