A brain that trains can stay in the fast lane. That’s the message of a showing that playing a brain training video game for a month can rejuvenate the multitasking abilities of people in their 60s, 70s and 80s.
“After training, they improved their multitasking beyond the level of 20-year-olds,” says Adam Gazzaley, one of the study’s authors and a brain scientist at the University of California, San Francisco.
And the improvement extended beyond multitasking, Gazzaley says: Participants also got better at remembering information and paying attention.
Moreover, the training actually changed participants’ brains. Brain wave patterns associated with focus got stronger, Gazzaley says. So did connections between visual areas of the brain and areas involved in making decisions. And tests showed that six months after training, the improvements were still there.
Also, even though many commercial video games claim to train your brain, most have never been evaluated for that purpose, Gazzaley says.
The study’s finding confirms earlier research suggesting that healthy brains are still highly capable as they age, says David Meyer, of the University of Michigan.
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