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Home Industry News Cognitive treatment ‘can make older people more open to experiences’

Cognitive treatment ‘can make older people more open to experiences’

18th January 2012

A new treatment programme designed to improve cognitive function among older people has been shown to have the potential to improve their sense of openness.

Researchers from the University of Illinois have devised a series of pattern-recognition and problem-solving tasks and puzzles for older people to carry out at home, which increase in difficulty as they progress.

Those who took the tests were shown to benefit from enhanced pattern-recognition and problem-solving skills, but also became more open and flexible to new experiences, one of five core personality traits identified by psychologists.

It represents the first time that a non-drug intervention in older adults has been shown to change a personality trait, as well as challenging assumptions that personalities are set in stone once a person reaches adulthood.

Illinois psychology professor and study co-author Brent Roberts said: "Here you have a study that has successfully changed personality traits in a set of individuals who are (on average) 75. That opens up a whole bunch of wonderful issues to think about."

This comes after a Union College study earlier this week showed how virtual reality-enhanced exercises can help bolster the cognitive abilities of older people more than traditional regimes.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801268241-ADNFCR

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