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Middle-Aged Minds Sharpened By Intellectual Pursuits

Question, Quiz, Think, Thinking, AnswerUK researchers have recently discovered that middle-aged engaged in intellectually challenging leisure-time and social activities tended to have sharper minds than people who pursue more solitary activities like gardening and other household tasks.

UK researchers have recently discovered that middle-aged engaged in intellectually challenging leisure-time and social activities tended to have sharper minds than people who pursue more solitary activities like gardening and other household tasks.

“Participation in complex leisure activities keeps the brain active and engaged” according to Kr. Archana Singh-Manoux indicating that our intellectual ability is influenced by our environment and the things that we do.

The results of the study were reported in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. In the study 5352 people between the ages of 35 and 55 about what they do for fun, then tested their mental function. They then performed tests assessing their short-term memory, mathematical reasoning and vocabulary.

Those who spent more time in socially interactive and mentally challenging activities tended to have sharper minds than people who spent their free time in more solitary and less stimulating pursuits. Activities linked to higher mental function included cultural visits, social and indoor games like cards or chess, reading, listening to music, and participating in voluntary organizations.

To control for the possibility that people with sharper minds are more likely to engage in complex, intellectual activities, Singh-Manoux and her colleagues used statistics to factor out things strongly related to intellectual ability such as level of education and vocation.

Singh-Manoux, who is based at the University College of London, noted that a number of studies have shown that hobbies and socializing help keep the mind sharp in old age. The current study tends to support a growing body of evidence suggesting that what we do early in life can also influence the state of our minds in old age.

As she puts it, “Not all individuals decline at the some rate in old age, so some factor during the ‘life course,’ both in early adulthood and middle age, must offer protection.”

Sources:
1) "http://rense.com/general44/intell.htm"

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