Does Being Busy Improve Your Cognitive Ability in Old Age?

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A new study in the journal Frontiers in Aging concluded that busy people may have better functioning brains in old age than those who are less busy. that is, being busy is associated with improved cognitive functioning. This is especially so for memory, reasoning and vocabulary. However, the scientist admit they do not know if the heightened brain function is caused by being busy, or vice versa.

For the study, 330 volunteers between age 50 and 89 filled out questionaires and completed a series of neuropsychological tests that measured cognitive performance. Results were not affected by an individuals level of education or age but there was a link between busy lifestyle and superior speed of the brain, working memory, reasoning and vocabulary. This was especially noted that busy people were able to remember certain event in the past. One question raised by the results is whether being busy improves cognitive functioning or if people with heightened neurological characteristics simply tend to be busier. More research in the area is needed.

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