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Computer Literacy May Support Cognition in Elders

Computer Literacy May Support Cognition in Elders

Emerging research suggests minimal levels of digital competency can help to reduce cognitive decline in older adults.

The new study is the first to show the ability to engage, plan, and execute digital actions, such as web browsing and exchanging emails, can improve memory.

The study is published in The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Medical Sciences.

Investigators analyzed data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, a study of 6442 participants in the UK between the ages of 50 and 89 for eight years.

A key marker included the measured recall from a 10-word-list learning task across five separate measurement points. Higher wealth, education, and digital literacy improved recall, while people with functional impairment, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, depressive symptoms, or no digital literacy showed recall decline.

The researchers’ findings suggest that “digital literacy increases brain and cognitive reserve or leads to the employment of more efficient cognitive networks to delay cognitive decline.”

Study authors conclude that training residents in digital literacy can help countries reduce rates for dementia over the coming decades.

Source: Oxford University Press

 
Elderly man using computer photo by shutterstock.

Computer Literacy May Support Cognition in Elders

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Computer Literacy May Support Cognition in Elders. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 17, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2014/08/13/computer-literacy-maintains-cognition-in-elders/73563.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.