New research reported in the Wall Street Journal found that learning to multi-task in a fast-paced environment improved the cognitive ability of older adults, and the improvement was long lasting.
Volunteers 60-85 were asked to play a video game called NeuroRacer which required them to steer a car down a winding road. As signs popped up, the volunteers had to identify and respond while continuing to drive.
Initially their driving skills fell by 64 percent whereas people in their 20s had a 26 percent drop in performance. However, after a month of playing, the older adults responded to the signs better than untrained young adults. The seniors also scored higher on short term memory and long time focus than they had before, which indicates older people who are not functioning well can become cognitively younger through training.