A new pilot study suggests cognitive training improves innovative thinking, along with corresponding positive brain changes, in healthy adults over the age of 55.

Researchers at the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas say the new study suggests a specific strategic cognitive training program can enhance innovation in healthy adults.

In this program, brain performance was measured by an individual’s ability to synthesize complex information and generate a multitude of high-level interpretations.

“Middle-age to older adults should feel empowered that, in many circumstances, they can reverse decline and improve innovative thinking,” said Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman, Center for BrainHealth founder and chief director and lead author of the study.

“Innovative cognition — the kind of thinking that reinforces and preserves complex decision-making, intellect, and psychological well-being — does not need to decline with age. This study reveals that cognitive training may help enhance cognitive capacities and build resilience against decline in healthy older adults.”

The SMART program (for Strategic Memory Advanced Reasoning Training) was developed at the Center for BrainHealth. It focuses on learning strategies that foster attention, reasoning, and broad-based perspective-taking.

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Published on PsychCentral August 8, 2018