Tag Archives: brain exercise

Brain Games and Neuropsychology

Are brain games the key to better brain health? They’re definitely one of the things you can do to help keep your brain functioning better and help protect your memory from the effects of aging.

According to researchers at Harvard Medical School, brain games are “any activity that stimulates your thinking.” Brain-stimulating activities include word games like crossword puzzles, scrabble, or word searches; number games like Sudoku; strategy games like chess or backgammon; and creative activities like learning to play an instrument, writing a journal, or painting and crafts. I even have my patients write with their non-dominant hand for a short period each day, which gives the brain a jolt. All of these activities have been shown to enhance mental processing, planning skills, short-term memory, executive functioning, and decision-making.

Your brain is a living, evolving organ that is impacted by your diet, level of stress, how you hydrate, and how well you sleep. It’s also affected by how you much you use it. In other words, you can change your brain as you treat it and use it differently. It’s what’s known as “neuroplasticity” and it’s something you can use to your advantage if you’d like to keep your brain health, memory, and cognitive functioning at the highest possible levels.

If you live life in a repetitive pattern, following the same schedule, going to the same places, doing the same things day after day, you’re not challenging your brain. Even something as small as brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand or taking a new route to the office or grocery store can help keep your brain connections firing more often. Why not add a few brain training games to your daily routine⁠ to encourage your brain’s neuroplasticity?

Several studies have found that online “brain exercise” can improve the cognitive function of older people and help seniors maintain cognitive multi-tasking skills that are increasingly valuable to everyday living skills, work, and even relationships.

A University of California, Irvine, study has found that online brain game exercises can enable people in their 70’s and even 80’s to multitask cognitively as well as individuals 50 years their junior. This is an increasingly valuable skill, given today’s daily information onslaught, which can divide attention and be particularly taxing for older adults.

Personally, I love word games and chess. Early forms of chess originated in India around the 6th century AD. One ancestor was chaturanga, a popular four-player war game that prefigured several key aspects of modern chess. A form of chaturanga traveled to Persia, where the name of the “king” piece changed from the Sanskrit rajah (king) to the Persian shah. From shah all European names for the game are derived.

Whatever your game of choice, exercise your brain.

Embolden Psychology
Embolden

Embolden offers the ADOS-2, the gold standard assessment for kids on the spectrum.

Combined with psychoeducational testing, it helps provide comprehensive information and recommendations to help children and teens six and up.

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