Miss Psychobabble: Day-to-day Activities that Improve Cognition For Older Adults

Image Credits: Pedro Ribeiro Simões via Flickr with CC License
Our brains age but...you can do something about it.

Years down the road, you will be susceptible to mild cognitive impairment (MCI).  MCI encompasses problems with language, memory, attention, and planning.  It is a stage between expected cognitive decline brought by normal aging and the serious cognitive decline of dementia.  Truly, this will affect one's quality of life.  This is why it is important to find lifestyle activities that help avoid this condition.

Fortunately, according to a recent study, the risks of mild cognitive impairment in adults aged 85 and beyond can decrease once exposed to socializing, arts, and technology.  The socializing activities included:  interacting with friends, book club meetings, bible study sessions, and trip to theater, concerts or movies.  The artistic activities included: painting, sculpting, drawing, and crafts (e.g., pottery or sewing).  Lastly, the techie activities included: usage of Internet, online purchases, computer games, and web searches.

Out of all these activities, the strongest protective effect was the artistic ones.  People who regularly engaged on artistic activities were 73% less likely to develop memory and thinking issues, followed by socializing (55%) and computer use (53%).

Aside from this, here are two factors that help improve your cognitive functions as you age:

1. Openness to new experiences

If you believe that older people have fully lived their lives and that they cannot experience something new…think again!  One thing is constant in this world and that is change.  Changes give us opportunities to learn more.  Park et al. (2013)  found that learning demanding and new skills while maintaining an active social network are essential to staying sharp as you age.

2. Playing video games that promote multi-tasking

Modern technology enabled the researchers of University of California, San Francisco to create a specialized video game that may boost the mental skills of older people, particularly in multi-tasking.  Forty-six participants aged 60 to 85 were trained for four weeks through a video game called NeuroRacer.  The difficulty level increased as the player improved.  Interestingly, when the training was completed, the participants did better than the untrained 20-year-olds.  Furthermore, the skilled learned remained 6 months later without practice.

Our brains age but...you can do something about it.  It has an extraordinary ability to modify itself following the changes of your body and environment.  I suggest you use that to your advantage as early as you can.

SGPsychStud: Psychology Facebook Pages to Follow

I mentioned in my last post that our latest collaboration is with MY Psychology.  This made me think:
Although SGPsychStuff is the only Singaporean website and Facebook page dedicated to provide information for psychology students in Singapore, there are actually many other great websites and Facebook pages which can also provide information for those interested in psychology.
Great things are to be shared!!  So here is the list of Facebook pages (categorised by country) that provide these great information.  Make sure to 'like' them and get these psychology information on your own newsfeed!
Pages introduced here may fall into any specialisation / category of psychology, and mainly for the promotion or sharing of psychological information and are not for the usage / promotion of any private businesses.

Singaporean FB pages:
Psychology Matters Asia
Singapore Association for Mental Health
CHAT
Forensic Psychology Singapore
Community of Organisational Psychologists in Singapore
Motivation in Educational Research Laboratory (MERL)
Social Worker Singapore
Singapore Psychologists (FB group)
Singapore Sport Psychology Network (FB group)

American FB pages:
American Psychological Association
American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS)
Association for Psychological Science
All About Psychology
About Psychology
Psychology: Science In Action
APA Style
Society for Personality and Social Psychology
Academy of Medical Psychology
Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP)
North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity
Social Psychology Network

American Magazines and Journals:
APA Journals
Scientific American Mind
Psychology Today
Psychology Press
gradPSYCH magazine
In-Mind Magazine
Elsevier Psychology

European and British FB pages:
British Psychological Society
BPS Division of Neuropsychology
British Psychological Society Division of Forensic Psychology
European Federation of Psychologists' Associations (EFPA)
European Federation of Psychology Students' Associations (EFPSA) - EFPSA Journal
PsyBlog

BPS Journals / Magazines:
BPS Journal
BPS Research Digest
The Psychologist

Australian FB pages:
Australian Psychological Society
APS Psych Student HQ
APS College of Clinical Psychologists
headspace
Mental Health Professionals Network
Mental Health Australia
SANE Australia

If you have any great FB pages that provides psychological information, please introduce them in the comments below and I will add them to this list!

SGPsychStud: Another Reflection at 4 Years and Collaborations for a Better Future in Psychology

Image credit: jairoagua via flickr.com
Readers and viewers of SGPsychStuff Facebook page and this webpage, Thank you for your Support!!!  July is the month of SGPsychStuff's birthday and this is the second time that I am writing a reflection with regards to SGPsychStuff's birthday in July.  The last one was July two years ago in 2013.

In the last post, there were the two things  that I promised that I will be doing:
  1. Daily sharing of articles on the Facebook page
  2. At least two posts on the blog a month
The first task of daily updates on the Facebook page was definitely done, with the occasional misses on the weekends when I am really tired or having some personal issues that inhibits me from updating the page.
The second task of two posts was often exceeded in the last two years, with up to 4 posts in a month.  Most of these posts are from the labels of Studying Psychology and SGPsychStud's thoughts.  This is also made possible with the contributions of Miss Psychobabble, Anna Agoncillo, who is one of my constant contributors and having her own column on SGPsychStuff!  She officially joined in Oct 2014 and as since written 14 articles here!  Here is her very first post: Tips on Critically Analyzing Journal Articles.  Here is her own blog: Miss Psychobabble by Anna Agoncillo.

Congratulatory message from Miss Psychobabble:
It is not surprising that SGPsychStuff is celebrating 4 great years in the scene. The informative articles it provides are reliable, engaging, interesting, and sufficient. Four years of survival is a testament to how dedicated and passionate SGPsychStuff is in serving its readers. And, I am proud to say that I, as Miss Psychobabble, am part of this wonderful journey. Congratulations and more anniversaries to come!
Another group of writers that SGPsychStuff will be collaborating with is MY Psychology (FB: MY Psychology).  They are a group of Malaysian Psychology students and young graduates who are trying to spread psychological knowledge about Psychology in a friendly and entertaining manner with the motto of “Learn . Share . Apply”.  Stay tuned for new posts from them on SGPsychStuff!!!

Congratulatory Message from MY Psychology:
Phaedrus, in Plato’s dialogue, “Phaedrus” once said, “Similarity begets friendship.”  And that is how it normally turns out between people.  Similarly dissatisfied with the way psychology and academia plays out in our own respective countries, and with a similar desire to improve upon this arena, SGPsychStuff and MyPsychology decides to collaborate together in order to achieve just that.
Starting from 2011, it has been four years since SGPsychStuff has embarked upon this ofttime perilous and difficult task.  In many ways, they are our seniors, and it is a joy not only to be able to work together with a more experienced group with similar agendas, but also the opportunity to converse with another with a shared aim is in itself a rare chance that none of us expected.
So congratulations for SGPsychStuff on their fourth-year anniversary, and we hope that the day will come where the fruits we bear in will blossom forth in a future spring.
New revisions upcoming on SGPsychStuff:  The sections of Q&A and Upcoming Conferences.  They have yet to be updated for a while now, and I am planning to update and revise them to be presented in an easy and fun manner!!!
Announcement:  SGPsychStuff is also looking for volunteers to help manage the different sections of the blog and the different social media platforms.  So if you are Internet-savvy, knows how to use social media or have some ideas for promoting SGPsychStuff, wishes to contribute in helping fellow psychology students, and have a bit of time once a week, please send me a email!!! Your help is definitely appreciated!!!