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Thursday, 04 June 2009


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Ken Allan

Kia ora Will

OK OK. I took the test, and before I was reminded to take the test, and reminded again, I'd forgotten what the test was about. Not.

OK OK. I got 4 ticks in the test. It didn't really tell me anything, nor was it a testing questionnaire.

By now you may have worked out that I'm skeptical, or sceptical, depending on what part of the (western?) world you come from.

I have no doubt that the individual can take steps to maintain or even improve cognitive ability (I'm in my 63rd year BTW). I've also little doubt that some of what an individual finds out that helps may also be useful to someone else. But, of course, that doesn't always follow simply.

The main scepticism that I hold is doing research into cognitive ability with age. Whatever you (the researcher) want to prove, it will not be difficult to find evidence to prove it. This is a bit like some aspects of quantum physics where the physicist looks and always finds what's being looked for. It takes some dinkum research to really get to the bottom of what's going on with any system, and the more complex the system, the more complex the research process needs to be to get some useful information from it.

I am particularly sceptical of a research finding that spreads like swine flu so that everyone goes about in lockstep in order to do what's deemed fashionable, or at least talks about it, when in fact we've not really understood the complexity.

Some of the most amazing findings have been studying those with advanced Alzheimer's. It would appear that 'use it or lose it' fits well with even those who should have stopped thinking and expired years before.

Maybe I should I take the test again :-) ?

Catchya later
from Middle-earth

Enid Crystal

Hi, Will:
I have been listening to the audiobook of "Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain", which describes "neuroplasticity" and the way the brain physically changes based on both physical and mental input. It supports current research that learning new tasks increases cognitive abilities.
I don't believe it is the responsibility of business to deliberately work on enhancing employee's cognitive outcomes, however, I do believe that through continually giving employees the opportunity to learn new skills and acquire new knowledge as related to continually changing job performance and new roles, that enhanced cognition would be one byproduct. Neuroplasticity is my newest area of personal research and exploration and I'll be following this discussion thread with interest.

Shirley Ledgerwood

What an interesting idea to break the monotony of a gloomy Thursday morning. I'm training manager in a statewide credit union (20 branches, 500 employees, ages 19-79). While I would not be comfortable promoting "learning for old people," this sounds like a good topic for our general health and wellness program. Why not start at 26 or 38 or 47 to strengthen our cognitive muscles? Why wait until the ravages of time take their toll?

I'll follow this discussion with interest and read about neuroplasticity (a new term to me), too. Thanks for the idea. By the way--I'll be 64 next week. Time's a wastin'.

Denise Friant

On Quiz
2. Is their (should be there) valid research evidence from scientific refereed journals that suggests that people can improve their cognitive outcomes by engaging in certain activities?
The(y) also offer a word of caution about software programs that are marketed as ways to improve cognitive ability:

I thought your article was very interesting and am hoping that as the workforce ages, that they are helped to increase their cognition.

Paula the Brain Magician

It's not only aerobic exercise that improves cognition. There are targeted activities that enhance communication between brain hemispheres and have significant effects on ,memory, focus, organization and other skills. There is no strictly scientific research on this but thousands of cases of improvements. These techniques have been used extensively in education but rarely if ever in business. It's a very promising avenue. You can find out more about it on my website,www.brainupgrade.biz.


Interesting and exciting! I say anything that can keep the aging cognitively strong and active demands our attention. After all aren't we all aging. I for one want to be productive as long as possible.

World Financial Group

Different outcomes require different solutions. Solutions that shift and shape what people want and do, and how services & systems

vegetable oil press

f you have what it takes to be the beauty they are looking for, then this the change you gotta take.

Pellet Mill

There are already so many natural disasters taking away precious life so we should be living in peace.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Handbag

for his many years in leading the workplace learning

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