Internet Usage Helps Older Adults

Researchers at the Semel Institute of the University of California-Los Angeles have studies older adults and how Internet usage helps their decision-making and reasoning.  Not just any older adults — those that are new to the Internet.

They studied 24 adults between the ages of 55 and 78 and divided them into two groups — those that use the Internet daily and those that had little experience with the Internet. They took MRIs of each adults and then sent them away with homework – search the Internet for an hour on each of 7 days over the next two weeks.  When they came back, MRIs were done again. For those new to the Internet, they were the same except there was new activity in places that dealt with working memory and decision-making. These patterns began to reflect those of the other group – older adults that had already been using the Internet.

Moody, one of the researchers, states:

The results suggest that searching online may be a simple form of brain exercise that might be employed to enhance cognition in older adults.

Good news! All of you that teach classes to older adults — keep at it!

[from Medical News Today]

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