Playing Computer Games to Boost Aging Brains

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By Sonya Collins, WebMD Health News

For more than 2 years, Jeanne Roach found a seat at an open computer terminal in the e-café at the Villa Gardens Retirement Community in Pasadena, CA, and she did a “20-minute circuit workout” for her brain.

“You look at a series of pictures, then the pictures are removed, and you’re asked, ‘In which picture were the men wearing hats?’” says Roach, 88, a retired human resources specialist. “There are math problems – what we used to call ‘story problems’ when I was growing up. I happened to do pretty well with the word games, but not well with the math.”

The challenges, according to game-maker Dakim BrainFitness, are meant to exercise six mental skills: long-term memory, short-term memory, language, computation, critical thinking, and the perception of spatial relationships between objects (called visuospatial ability).

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