Visual Search Puzzles and Other Brain Games Can Help Keep the Mind Sharp, Studies Suggest
Engaging with puzzles and visual search games is a great way to pass the time. The activity also may help boost one’s attention, memory and sharpen the brain, according to studies.
In one UK study of 19,000 adults aged 50 and over, researchers asked participants to report on how frequently they engaged in word and number puzzles. Participations then took a series of cognitive tests to measure change in brain function.
Results were impressive.
The more regularly participants engaged with puzzles, the better they performed on tasks assessing attention, reasoning and memory, the study suggested.
Pharmacists should have no qualms about recommending brain games to their clients as a fun way to exercise their gray matter. Games can be part of other activities and practices that also help ensure optimal brain health.
One U.S. opinion paper on cognitively stimulating activities recommends finding new ways to stimulate your brain. Novelty is important, according to the paper, to continually challenge the brain, and is an element in what makes even routine cognitive activities interesting and challenging.
The paper acknowledges that more research is needed on the impacts of cognitively stimulating activities on the brain. But researchers also say they believe sufficient evidence supports the beneficial effects.