Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website www.lenoreskomal.net.   Read more about this blog.
Posted: May 13th, 2013
Can playing video games slow mental decay?

Makes one want to reevaluate the pastime that has captured at least one generation of kids and been demonized for for it. The University of Iowa study certainly gave me cause for pause.

According to the results of the study, “people aged 50 and older who played just ten hours of a video game, priming their mental processing speed and skills, delayed declines by as many as seven years in a range of cognitive skills.”

The in-house publication of the university states, “The study comes amidst a burst of research examining why, as we age, our minds gradually lose “executive function,” generally considered mission control for critical mental activities, such as memory, attention, perception, and problem solving.

Studies show loss of executive function occurs as people reach middle age; other studies say our cognitive decline begins as soon as 28 years of age. Either way, our mental capacities do diminish, and medical and public health experts are keen to understand why in an effort to stem the inexorable tide as much as possible.”

So for those of you worried about your mental decline, pick up those controls and demand your kid or grandkid teach you how to do it.

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