Since the original discoveries, further connections between behavior and brain health have emerged. Evidence now shows that exercising your mind can make your brain stronger and more efficient.
The science behind this discovery has led to a whole new field of research, along with a burgeoning industry in brain-fitness products.
Books, magazines, computer games, educational courses, brain gyms, and a variety of devices, programs, and apps have become popular almost overnight.
Alvaro Fernandez of the brain fitness marketing research firm SharpBrains estimated that in 2013, brain-training and cognitive assessment technologies were a $1.3 billion business.
Studies over the last several decades have confirmed that it is possible to build brain muscle with mental exercise.
Laboratory animals raised in cages with mazes, toys, and other sources of mental stimulation experience a brain boost.
These animals exhibit better memory abilities and larger memory centers in their brains than mice raised in standard cages.
Studies on human volunteers indicate that new and challenging mental tasks stimulate neural circuits.
People who spend more time doing puzzles, taking courses, or engaging in other mental exercises have a lower risk for developing Alzheimer’s than mentally inactive people.
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