Managing people helps develop better brains

Sydney: Managing other people at the workplace promotes brain health, protects memory and the learning centre well into old age.

University of New South Wales (UNSW) researchers have identified a clear link between managerial experience and larger size of one`s hippocampus, the brain area responsible for learning and memory -- at the age of 80.

These findings bolster our understanding that mental activity promotes brain health, possibly warding off neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer`s, according to an UNSW statement.

"This could be linked to the unique mental demands of managing people, which requires continuous problem solving, short term memory and a lot of emotional intelligence..., says Michael Valenzuela, leader of regenerative neuroscience in UNSW`s School of Psychiatry.

The research comprises the doctoral work of Chao Suo, supervised by Valenzuela, along with Perminder Sachdev`s Memory and Ageing Study based in Sydney.

Using MRI imagery in a group of 75- to 92-year-olds, researchers found larger hippocampal volumes in those with managerial experience compared to those without, even after accounting for any of a number of possible alternative explanations.

The study was presented at the Brain Sciences UNSW symposium Brain Plasticity - The Adaptable Brain.


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