Busyness Correlated with Improved Cognitive Performance

Sustained engagement in mentally challenging activities has been shown to improve memory in older adults. We hypothesized that a busy schedule would be a proxy for an engaged lifestyle and would facilitate cognition. Here, we examined the relationship between busyness and cognition in adults aged 50–89. Participants (N = 330) from the Dallas Lifespan Brain Study (DLBS) completed a cognitive battery and the Martin and Park Environmental Demands Questionnaire (MPED), an assessment of busyness. Results revealed that greater busyness was associated with better processing speed, working memory, episodic memory, reasoning, and crystallized knowledge. Hierarchical regressions also showed that, after controlling for age and education, busyness accounted for significant additional variance in all cognitive constructs—especially episodic memory. Finally, an interaction between age and busyness was not present while predicting cognitive performance, suggesting that busyness was similarly beneficial in adults aged 50–89. Although correlational, these data demonstrate that living a busy lifestyle is associated with better cognition.


Folksonomies: cognition aging

/science/medicine/psychology and psychiatry (0.423676)
/society/senior living (0.249418)
/health and fitness/disorders (0.248859)

Cognitive Performance Sustained (0.996324 (positive:0.695820)), mentally challenging activities (0.880501 (positive:0.695820)), Dallas Lifespan Brain (0.807400 (neutral:0.000000)), constructs—especially episodic memory (0.804625 (negative:-0.398777)), Environmental Demands Questionnaire (0.798713 (neutral:0.000000)), significant additional variance (0.769250 (negative:-0.398777)), better processing speed (0.747219 (positive:0.231081)), cognitive battery (0.623943 (neutral:0.000000)), Busyness Correlated (0.603935 (positive:0.695820)), busy schedule (0.581023 (positive:0.348014)), better cognition (0.560001 (positive:0.290653)), busy lifestyle (0.552297 (positive:0.290653)), Hierarchical regressions (0.551257 (neutral:0.000000)), older adults (0.545529 (positive:0.695820)), greater busyness (0.512267 (positive:0.231081)), age (0.284474 (neutral:0.000000)), engagement (0.277175 (positive:0.695820)), Improved (0.267977 (positive:0.695820)), proxy (0.263487 (positive:0.348014)), reasoning (0.259655 (neutral:0.000000)), Participants (0.256939 (neutral:0.000000)), relationship (0.253758 (neutral:0.000000)), Study (0.251834 (neutral:0.000000)), DLBS (0.251770 (neutral:0.000000)), Martin (0.251514 (neutral:0.000000)), Park (0.251451 (neutral:0.000000)), assessment (0.251163 (neutral:0.000000)), Results (0.250373 (positive:0.231081)), knowledge (0.249679 (positive:0.306781))

correlational:Person (0.938173 (neutral:0.000000)), Martin and Park:Facility (0.816670 (neutral:0.000000)), DLBS:Degree (0.751102 (neutral:0.000000)), MPED:Degree (0.729076 (neutral:0.000000))

Memory (0.955639): dbpedia | freebase
Cognition (0.878761): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Psychology (0.844973): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Episodic memory (0.837969): dbpedia | freebase
Cognitive psychology (0.814380): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Hippocampus (0.719164): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Improve (0.686036): dbpedia
Ageing (0.667759): dbpedia | freebase

 The Busier the Better: Greater Busyness Is Associated with Better Cognition
Periodicals>Journal Article:  Festini, McDonough, Park (17 May 2016), The Busier the Better: Greater Busyness Is Associated with Better Cognition, Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, Retrieved on 2016-05-24
  • Source Material [journal.frontiersin.org]
  • Folksonomies: cognition intelligence


    04 MAR 2015


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