The cognitive test scores a massive spike after 3 months of learning in later life

about the episode

The idea isn’t entirely new, but it’s always nice if it gets approved again: learning new things at a later age is good for you.

In the case of this study: good for your perception. On average, the speed with which we perform cognitive tasks decreases, among other things, from the age of 30 or 40. At around 60, the curve becomes steeper. While this is generally seen as a normal part of aging, there are researchers who believe we should look at it differently.

More like summer vacation. Many children have to earn a lot of money after weeks without lessons. A lot of information is gone and focus takes a little more effort, but this is also recovery. Some adults actually experience some kind of giant summer downtime. After school, any further education and the first lessons for a new job, people sometimes come to a stage of learning that lasts much longer than those few weeks of summer vacation. What if, like kids after summer break, you could break that one again?

The researchers developed a three-month intervention. 33 adults, ages 58 to 86, attended three different sessions per week. They can choose from things like: singing lessons, Spanish, drawing and photography lessons. One day of each session per week with a two-hour session. So a bit like college. Cognitive tests were taken before and after the three-month block, which looked at memory and concentration, among other things.

Not only did the intervention lead to better results on these tests, but the growth continued. After a year of experimenting, the results were even better. Even as an average student.

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The researchers point out that their form is not the only form of learning that can work, and so it should be possible for everyone to continue evolving, even if people don’t have the resources themselves. Additionally, it was a small group of test subjects and the effects will vary from person to person.

But still, the lesson is clear: staying dexterous in old age? Learn new skills.

Read more about research here: To stay sharp as you age, learn new skills.

Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

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