Brain Functions that Improve with Age
When it comes to cognitive functions and their correlation with age, people often focus on declines. But a new study challenges these preconceptions and suggests that certain operations in our brain improve over time!
Cognitive functioning includes thinking, memory, and self-control. Many researchers agree there comes an age when these mental faculties start to decline. While it's true some seniors show deterioration; others may show an increase and improvement. Dr. Ullman, a professor in the Department of Neuroscience and director of Georgetown University Medical Center's Brain and Language Lab in Washington, D.C., conducted a study with 702 participants ages 58 to 98, testing in three areas:
Orienting Function– Shifting attention to an unexpected movement
Alerting Function – Increased preparedness
Executive Function – Inhibiting distractions so you can stay focused
This test showed how these participants responded to the target stimulus. This recent study revealed that only the alerting function declined. Past studies indicated a decline in all three functions. In this case, the orientation and executive function improved! The hypothesis is that these operations are part of our everyday lives and are regularly practiced. And although these functions seem to improve as we age, many activities can further improve cognitive abilities, such as
- Social interaction
- Trivia games
- Board games
- Arts and crafts
At Evergreen Senior Living in Orland Park, we are dedicated to maintaining the cognitive health of our residents. All our games and activities are designed strategically to ensure that your senior continues to live their best life. Contact us to learn more about our assisted living and memory support communities, or schedule your tour online today!