Learning new skills can help older adults to improve memory

A new study has examined that older adults, who learn a new mentally demanding skills can improve their cognitive function.

ANI| Updated: Feb 08, 2015, 17:55 PM IST

Washington: A new study has examined that older adults, who learn a new mentally demanding skills can improve their cognitive function.

The study conducted at University of Texas approached participants where they were assigned to learn a new skill digital photography, quilting, or both which required active engagement and tapped working memory, long-term memory and other high-level cognitive processes.

Jennifer Lodi-Smith PhD, assistant professor of psychology at Canisius College, said that at the end of three months, they found that only the group who learned digital photography grew in their memory skills.

Other participants were asked to participate in more familiar activities such as crossword puzzles, watch documentaries and listen to classical music. To account for the possible influence of social contact, some participants were assigned to a group that included field trips and entertainment.

Lodi-Smith added that so when they see all these media reports that tell people that they should get involved socially, or do crossword puzzles or Sudoku, they are just not as beneficial as learning something new where you really have to put that effort in.