New Research Finds That Older Adults Can Improve Cognition By Learning Various New Skills Simultaneously, Similar To Undergraduate Students’ Course Loads

shurkin_son - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

A recent group of studies conducted by a research team from the University of California, Riverside, has demonstrated that learning various new tasks can significantly benefit cognition among older adults.

This conclusion has confirmed the fact that older adults have the ability to improve their cognition by learning new tasks if they approach the idea of learning the same way children do.

“Our findings provide evidence that simultaneously learning real-world skills can lead to long-term improvements in cognition during older adulthood,” said Rachel Wu, lead researcher.

“Overall, our findings promote the benefits of lifelong learning, namely, to improve cognitive abilities in older adulthood.”

The team’s research is the first of its kind and culminated in two different studies.

While the first study had just six participants with a median age of 66-years-old, the second study included 27 participants with a median age of 69-years-old.

In order to qualify for participation in the research, each individual had to be at least 55, have normal or corrected vision, be fluent in English, and have no prior cognitive impairment diagnosis.

The participants ultimately went on to complete work similar to undergraduate students– finishing both classwork and homework for about 15 hours a week over the course of three months. According to Wu, it was these time constraints that limited the eligible participant pool.

Nevertheless, each participant in both studies learned at least three new skills– for instance, how to use an iPad, how to speak Spanish, music composition, painting, or photography. These skills were taught within a classroom for older adults at UC Riverside.

shurkin_son – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

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