A study conducted by psychologists at The University of Texas at Dallas reveals intellectual engagement that involves actively learning new things is the key to maintaining brain health. The study is published in the January issue of Psychological Science.
The results are well beyond what Denise Park, head of UTD’s Center for Vital Longevity, might have expected. Park, a psychologist, studies the aging mind. Along with many other researchers, she is hunting for clues that will help older adults preserve their cognitive health for as long as they have their physical health.
Her study found that adults who took classes that involved actively learning new things, such as digital photography or quilting, improved their memory and the speed with which they processed information more than volunteers who joined a social club or stayed home and did educational activities such as playing word games. “Being deeply engaged is key to maintaining the health of the mind,” Park says.
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