Amazing Kids! Magazine

How to Get Smarter

By Veronica Sturman, Contributing Writer

 

Children have many demands that keep their brains active. Adults, on the other hand, often lack opportunities to continue studying in the same rigorous way that children study. Many adults report memory loss and sluggish processing speed as they age. There are a lot of programs and activities that can help reactivate the brain.

As a kid, brain exercises can be fun but may not be needed with regular school and other activities, but what about adults? Brain games that can be played online, on Nintendo, Wii and other gaming devices seem fun for kids but may not interest some adults. Thankfully, there are a myriad of options. For example, some older adults enjoy working crossword puzzles or playing games like Bridge or Dominoes. Watching educational television has also proven to improve mental function. Ambitious adults can even go back to school with free online classes from Stanford, Yale or MIT.

The Mayo Clinic has conducted several research projects on memory and brain processing speed. Dr. Smith at Mayo Clinic conducted research on 487 adults over the age of 65 and found that playing computer brain training games increased memory about 4% compared to watching educational television followed by a content quiz with a 2% increase. Dr. Geda with Mayo Clinic researched 1,300 people ranging in age between 70 and 89 and found a 30%-50% decrease in mild cognitive impairment with regular reading, playing computer games or crafting.

There doesn’t seem to be one single thing that works the best. So, test things out and see what you like. As for you kids, just make a habit of trying new things. If you do, you’re sure to stay active and keep those neurons a-building.