A recent article published in MedicalNewsToday explores the link between meditation practices and the enhancement/support of cognitive abilities in old age.
As we age, our cognitive ability slowly slides. The resulting deficits could impact reasoning, memory, and processing speed, among other things. It can also affect our ability to concentrate and focus.
Since people in the United States are now living longer lives, researchers are keen to find ways to keep our brains healthy and alert for longer. To help us retain a sharp focus, scientists have trialed a range of potential interventions — including computer-based cognitive training programs and lifestyle changes.
Meditation and mindfulness as interventions have also shown promise. For instance, meditation is considered to boost a range of cognitive abilities, such as mental clarity, stability, and creativity, while increasing the length of time that someone can hold their focus. Importantly, meditation is easy to practice at home, relatively cost-effective, and unlikely to cause side effects.
Several studies have investigated mindful interventions and witnessed certain benefits, such as a reduction in mind wandering. However, few have assessed whether meditation’s benefits can endure over longer periods of time.
Over the past few years, an ongoing study has been attempting to fill this gap in our understanding. Scientists from the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) Center for Mind and Brain have been following a group of people who attended a meditation course 7 years ago. Their study was recently published in the Journal of Cognitive Enhancement.
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