258 Memory Enhancing Works

Based on research done by Willis, Sherry L., Tennstedt, S.L., Marsiske, Michael et al (2006) written by American Psychological Association, adapted by Juanita N Baker, Ph.D.

What can be done for older adults who start showing signs of memory problems?

Psychologist Michael Marsiske and colleagues found that short mental workouts improved performance and was sustained. They studied approximately 2,800 volunteers assigned to none or one of three 10-hour thinking skills trainings (memorizing, reasoning or visual concentration).

Half of those trained received an extra eight hour “booster” training. Five years later, compared to untrained controls, each training group still showed a significant performance advantage on learned thinking skills. Those receiving booster training showed even more significant benefit in reasoning and visual concentration. In addition, training “transferred” to real world skills of daily living. The reasoning-trained group showed the most improvement. The Booster trained group in visual concentration was significantly quicker at speeded everyday activities, including accurately reading instructions on medicine bottles, finding items in a pantry, or reacting to road signs on a computer.

Use it or lose it! Learn a new language, play a new musical instrument, or take an adventure. Use memory skills, e.g., link new learning to something personally meaningful. Volunteer, learn new subjects, and solve puzzles. Stay mentally active and boost your memory in a variety of ways!


Willis, Sherry L.; Tennstedt, S.L.; Marsiske, Michael; Ball, K; Elias, J.; Koepke, K. M.; Morris, J. N.; Rebok, G.W.; Unverzagt, F. W.; Stoddard, A. M.; Wright, E.; (2006). Long-term effects of cognitive training on everyday functional outcomes in older adults. JAMA, 296 (23), 2805-2814.

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