How to Improve Cognitive Skills in Adults?

How to Improve Cognitive Skills in Adults?

In today’s society and culture, it is common to see how the cognitive abilities of children, adolescents, and students can be improved. But we don’t often think about how to improve cognitive abilities in adults—yet today, brain function is the number one health concern for older adults around the world! A growing body of information in research suggests that adults, regardless of age, can improve their cognitive function. This is important because cognitive decline can lead to premature aging and shortened lifespans. In this article, we will discuss what cognitive development is and how to improve cognitive skills as adults.

Definition of Cognitive Development

Cognitive development is the study of children’s neurological and psychological development. In particular, cognitive development is assessed using the levels of conception, perception, information processing, and language as indicators of brain development. It is commonly believed that cognitive development advances with age, as human knowledge and understanding of the world shift from infancy to childhood and then adolescence. The process of cognitive development was first described by Jean Piaget in his Theory of Cognitive Development.

The cognitive development theory, founded by Jean Piaget, describes the development of cognition with age. Although many aspects of the original theory of cognitive development have been refuted, the objective characteristics associated with cognitive development remain valid. These factors range from the early perception and realization of object permanence in infancy, through the development of logic and causality in childhood, to the development of abstract thinking in adolescence. Recent theories of cognitive development extend Piaget’s original theories by using current scientific methods from neuroscience and psychology. Piaget’s theory of cognitive development includes the following distinct components:

  • Schema: Blocks of knowledge gained through experience and interaction with the local environment.
  • Assimilation: Applying new information to an existing schema.
  • Adaptation: The ability to build on previous experience and knowledge.
  • Balance: When most new experiences fit into existing patterns. Cognitive advances occur when information doesn’t fit into existing patterns and presents a challenge.

How to Improve Cognitive Skills in Adults: Exercise

Exercise has many benefits, but did you know it’s good for your brain? Yes, exercise is good for the brain too. How?

Exercise increases blood flow to the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory.

For example, among the many studies on exercise and cognition, one study showed that aerobic fitness resulted in less loss of tissue density in the brain. Another study shows that exercise can improve a person’s ability to deal with stressful situations, help her make decisions, and your ability to learn and remember facts.

These studies are great because they scientifically back what we have known for years – consciously nourishing the brain-body connection every day can help improve health and well-being, reduce stress, keep your brain sharp and strengthen the body very responsive. When body, mind, soul, and emotions are in balance, health and happiness follow.

How to Improve Cognitive Skills in Adults: New Hobbies, New Activities, New Experiences = New Brain Connections!

We’re all stuck in mode. We wake up at the same time every day and tend to do the same things. Habits are comfort and comfort to most people. But we want to challenge you to make a difference! Doing new things is great because not only is it fun, but it creates new neural connections in your brain, especially when it comes to physical exercise.

Sit down and make a list of all the things you “always wanted to do but didn’t have the time”. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • learn a new language
  • Plant a butterfly garden
  • Go hiking and study birds and plants
  • Take courses, learn to bake bread, make pottery and study the stars!
  • Learn Tai Chi or Karate
  • Memorize your favorite poem and make a card for a friend
  • Do something you know how to do differently (e.g., practice your tennis serve with your opposite hand, walk back down the stairs, find a new route to work or to a place where you frequent, brush your teeth with your other hand, walk your dog in different areas or parks – there are countless ways for your brain to fire neurons!)

How to Improve Cognitive Skills in Adults: Active, Not Passive

The concept of improving cognitive abilities in adults is more difficult to implement. Are you more active or passive in your everyday life? Here are some examples for better understanding:How to improve cognitive function in elderly

  • Did you turn on the TV and “log out”? Or do you watch the show and think about what’s being shown? Maybe you can even talk afterward.
  • Do you read fluff magazines? Or have you read more challenging books, articles, or academic journals to get you thinking?
  • Do you make others think and talk? Or do you take an active part in the discussion and contribute your thoughts and opinions?

We are becoming more active in our lives, which is important for brain health. Of course, that’s okay – sometimes you have to! – Partition occasionally, but that should be the exception rather than the rule.

How to Improve Cognitive Skills: 6 Exercises and Games

Offers a variety of high-tech cognitive exercises via paid programs like Lumosity. Such programs offer number-based brain exercises for most ages and ability levels. However, there are also relatively simple, inexpensive, and effective cognitive reinforcement options that most people can use with a little ingenuity and effort.

  • Learn a New Language: This helps improve mental agility and protect nerves as new language creates new connections between neurons, making them more resistant to disease.
  • Listen or Make Music: Music activates multiple brain regions, including those that process emotions, memories, and movement. There are many free online music listening and learning sites.
  • Cards, Board Games and Video Games: Card games are an inexpensive and fun way to train memory and strategy skills. Board games like Trivial Pursuit build factual memory, while games like Monopoly train math, finance, and strategy skills. Strategy and 3D adventure video games have been shown to have significant benefits on attention, short-term memory, and reaction time.
  • Travel: Travel, both near and far, exposes us to new sights, sounds, and experiences, and creates new connections between neurons, including so-called “place cells” in the brain’s memory circuits.
  • Cultural Consumption: Take part in films, plays, poetry readings, museum tours, and more. These newer and unusual activities are for you (like watching a foreign film, visiting a new museum, or reading a poet you’ve never read), they are more challenging and stimulating for your brain. You will make more new connections between neurons. Culture can connect and rewire the brain, a process that occurs throughout our lives.
  • Puzzles: Puzzles are designed to challenge the brain. They also tap into the brain’s natural propensity to perceive patterns, complete sequences, and solve problems. 

How to Maintain Cognitive Health in Older Adults

The support factors, exercise, and games described above remain effective in maintaining cognitive health as we age, but with some limitations. As with any other demographic, finding the challenge of finding “just the right thing” for older adults is crucial so that the individual is empowered but not overwhelmed.

For example, a verbal memory task for older adults with severe memory problems could be modified to include a 6-item list of words to remember instead of a 12-item list. Hints and clues can stimulate memory and provide individuals with a successful experience.

If a cognitive task is too easy, it does not contribute to empowering a person. If it’s too hard, you could overwhelm the person. This is particularly true for people with Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia in older adults.

Finding the right cognitive challenges for these individuals allows them to hone their skills and achieve success instead of becoming overwhelmed and frustrated.

 

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Can Diet Supplements Help Maintain Cognitive Health?

Dietary supplements Complementary drugs are drugs that are used to supplement our food or drug intake but are not (yet) approved to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. These supplements include B and E vitamins, minerals like zinc, herbs like ginkgo Biloba, and other botanicals.

Such dietary supplements are widely used in all age groups, especially in developed countries. The evidence for the effectiveness of supplements in maintaining cognitive health is mixed.

The Ginkgo Memory Assessment Study followed 3,069 elderly participants over the age of 6 who were randomly assigned to either Ginkgo biloba or placebo. The study found no evidence that dietary supplements slow cognitive decline or prevent dementia. Additionally, some researchers warn that the blood-thinning properties of ginkgo Biloba can interfere with anticoagulant medications and cause excessive bleeding. 

Research has shown that certain supplements such as zinc can have a beneficial effect on frontal or executive function in children and adults. Recently, a large prospective cohort study followed 5,395 participants over 9.6 years of age and found that those with the highest intake of vitamin E-rich foods had a three-thirds greater risk of developing dementia than those with the lowest intake of vitamin EA 25% lower. 

As always, it’s best to consult your doctor before taking any approved drug or medical supplement.

Conclusion 

Brain training can be as simple as actively involving the brain in everyday tasks. Others are targeted brain exercises specifically designed to improve memory, cognition, or creativity. Exercising the brain can help improve brain function and improve connectivity between different regions. This may help protect the brain from age-related degeneration. People can differ on what they think is the funniest brain exercise. It can be a good idea to try a range of brain training activities first and stick to those that offer the most fun or reward.

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