February 13, 2014

Learning New Skills Can Improve Memory in Seniors

A new study published in Psychological Science shows that seniors who learn new skills that demand higher cognitive function can improve their memory.

Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas divided seniors (ranging from ages 60 to 90) participating in the study into three groups. One group learned digital photography or quilting. A second group listened to classical music and did word puzzles at home. The third group engaged in social activities. 

The seniors participated in their assigned tasks for 15 hours per week for three months. At the end, the researchers found those in the first group, the quilters and photographers, showed improved memory as compared to those in the other two groups. 

The researchers hope to follow up with the participants at one and five year intervals.