We’ve all heard the adage “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” But new research reveals that you CAN teach an older adult how to improve their brain skills, with the added effect of changing a personality trait, making them more open to new experiences.
Using subjects from a study designed to improve brain skills of older people, the researchers hypothesized that improving cognitive skills might also increase participants openness – a personality trait that allows a person to be receptive to new experiences or being engaged by novel ideas such as an intellectual challenge.
Lead researcher Elizabeth Stine-Morrow of the University of Illinois explains, “It also makes sense that, reciprocally, if you engage in cognitive abilities that you enjoy and that are rewarding, that will also make you open to experience. And that’s what we found.”
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