Brain training could add years behind the wheel (Futurity):
“Older adults who participate in training designed to improve cognitive ability are more likely to continue driving over the next 10 years than those who don’t, research shows.
For a new study, published in the journal The Gerontologist, researchers studied the effects of three different cognitive training programs—reasoning, memory, and divided attention—on driving cessation in older adults…Participants who completed either the reasoning or divided-attention training were between 55 and 49 percent more likely to still be drivers 10 years after the study began than those who did not receive training. Randomly selected participants who received additional divided-attention training were 70 percent more likely to report still driving after 10 years.”
Study: The Impact of Three Cognitive Training Programs on Driving Cessation Across 10 Years: A Randomized Controlled Trial (The Gerontologist). From the abstract:
- Purpose of the Study: Driving is important for older adults’ health and well-being, yet little research has examined interventions to maintain driving mobility. As fluid cognitive abilities are strongly linked to driving, targeted cognitive training interventions may impact driving mobility longitudinally. This study assessed the effects of three different cognitive training programs (reasoning, speed of processing, and memory) on driving cessation in older adults across 10 years (n = 2,390).
- Results:…Individuals at-risk for future mobility declines were 49% (Hazard Ratio (HR) = 0.51, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.28, 0.94; n = 336) less likely to cease driving after speed of processing training and 55% (HR = 0.45, 95% CI: 0.24, 0.86;n = 324) less likely to quit driving subsequent to reasoning training. Additional booster sessions for speed of processing training resulted in a 70% reduction of driving cessation (HR = 0.30, 95% CI: 0.11, 0.82; n = 252) in the subsample analyses. There were no significant effects of memory training.
- Implications: Some cognitive interventions transfer to maintained driving among those at-risk for mobility declines due to cognitive impairment. Future research should identify moderators and mediators of training and transfer effects.
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Steve Zanon says
Cognitive training can help maintain driving mobility as all cognitive functions are highly plastic. But it is a mistake to suggest that this is a transfer effect — these cognitive skill refinement and capacity building exercises relate to a number of component cognitive skills necessary for safe driving. These are core underlying driving skills not skills at near/far displacement.