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To stimulate neuroplasticity and improve cognitive function… just play!

To stimulate neuroplasticity and improve cognitive function… just play!

November 30, 2021

Stimulate neuroplasticity, protect the brain and improve cognitive function, how? Simple… by playing! Some computer games and apps, in fact, can increase the response speed to stimuli and the calculation and processing skills by improving brain plasticity. This emerges from a very recent scientific research that appeared in Scientific Reports thanks to a collaboration between Cambridge University, United Kingdom, and Hasselt University, Belgium (Bonnechere et al, Sci Rep, 2021).

How to counteract the aging of the brain?

Over time the brain ages, and this is a physiological fact. With aging, a slowdown in response times and greater difficulty in memorizing, processing information and performing mathematical operations can also be observed. Is it possible to act and improve cognitive function, even in people who are no longer young? To answer this question and verify the effectiveness of brain training games that can be found for apps and computers, the researchers have developed a research, which we are talking about today.

Brain training games stimulate neuroplasticity

Researchers recruited 12,000 volunteers, all in good health and between the ages of 60 and 80. Therefore, 7 brain games were selected, chosen in order to train different cognitive skills, such as memory, attention, calculation, reasoning, semantics and reflexes. Participants in the study were asked to carry out 100 sessions for each game, divided into several months based on the time each person could dedicate. The score and response time were measured for each session. What emerged was that, at all ages, brain training games allowed us to improve response times, memory, the ability to process information, do calculations and work with attention and concentration, performing increasingly complex performances as the time and the number of sessions dedicated to these activities increased. The observed improvements were attributed by the study authors to the ability of the games to stimulate neuroplasticity.

The games for the mind

The games selected by the researchers were 7, as previously mentioned. The first concerns the calculation capacity and requires to perform calculations in mind by adding together numbers to arrive at the given target number. The second game works on memory, showing a matrix with selected boxes. The player is then asked to remember the position of these boxes. The third game involves language skills by requiring you to pair words with similar or opposite meanings. The fourth game asks you to compose words by providing the letters, the fifth game asks you to put objects in order according to a rule or a sequence shown. The sixth game, based on attention and recognition skills, requires you to find the smallest object among other objects. Finally, the seventh game, based on attention and memory, requires you to visualize one shape and tell if the next shape is the same or not.

Train your brain also with the Natural Remedies app

Neuroplasticity is a precious asset that must be cultivated with a healthy lifestyle. Today we have seen that games for the mind also play their part in stimulating the processes of modification and adaptation of the brain. If you wish, you can also find in the Natural Remedies app a section dedicated to brain training with games to improve reflexes, memory, calculation and attention skills. You can find brain games in the Healthy Life section, accessible from the Home Page.

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