Tablets + Technology = Brain Health

Challenge


Many older adults are slow to adopt new technology because it can be intimidating. Computer technology has evolved drastically over the past 40 or so years. But here’s the thing—even though today’s technology is complex, it’s simpler to use than it’s ever been.

Tablets in particular are driven by what’s called “usability.” Simply put, usability is how easy a device is for you to use. Tablets are designed to be intuitive, so you can move from one task to the next with ease.

Today’s tablets are more than just technology, though. They are a way to talk face-to-face with kids, grand kids and friends across the country. They connect you to news and old high school friends. And unlike traditional media like newspapers and magazines, you can enlarge the size of both text and photos so you can see more clearly.

Believe it or not, using a tablet can also improve your cognitive function. One study on tablet technology and brain function trained people how to use iPads. These people, who had never used iPads before, improved their memory and processing speed by learning how to use the tablet.

What's the science behind this improvement in cognition? Learning any new skills boosts cognitive function. Tablets in particular also offer other brain-boosting benefits, like socializing with loved ones and playing video games.

References

  • Chan, M. Y., Haber, S., Drew, L. M., & Park, D. C. (2016). Training Older Adults to Use Tablet Computers: Does It Enhance Cognitive Function? The Gerontologist, 56(3), 475–484. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnu057