Playing Bingo Good for Your Brain
Bingo enthusiasts have long suspected that the classic game can help to keep the brains of its players sharp and flexible. Finally, researchers have now conclusively proven these hunches right! According to scientists, playing bingo can help to keep your brain in good shape – and the older you are, the more you may seemingly stand to benefit.
Scientific tests have showed that players were faster and more accurate at a variety of tests than their non-playing counterparts. The trials included testing for mental speed, memory, and the ability for participants to gain and process information from the environment surrounding them at the time.
Guarding Against Mental Decline
While the game is popular among players of all ages and walks of life, it is a particular favourite among pensioners and the elderly members of our society. With this in mind, there could be significant benefits for those of older ages who play bingo regularly, as it could help to keep their minds sharp and perhaps even ward off dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative conditions of the brain.
Players need to be able to recognize and check numbers off of their cards quickly, and also need great hand-eye coordination to play. While these skills are thought to decline with age, encouraging those in their golden years to participate in bingo could remedy this, as well as providing a great chance to socialize for a group of people that often suffers from loneliness and isolation.
Researchers are now confident that bingo should no longer be dismissed. And unlike games such as chess, which needs skills that are retained in the brain until they are needed, bingo needs consistently quick identification in order to win. Even Julie Winstone, a researcher at the University of Southampton’s Centre for Visual Cognition at the Department of Psychology, has conducted research into the mental agility of players, producing some truly astounding results.
Studies Produce Astounding Results
Winstone has spent the last year studying the responses of 112 players aged 18 to 40, as well as older players aged 60 to 82. Half of each group played the game, while the others refrained. Presenting her findings at the Annual Conference of the Psychologists Special Interest Group in Older People in Winchester, Winstone noted that long-term mental activity could prevent the decline of cognitive ability, speed, accuracy, and the general recognition of patterns.
In some instances, the older participants who played even outperformed younger individuals who did not. This suggests that regularly enjoying activities that require high mental activity levels may assist in maintaining brain function later in life. Now, Winstone plans to do further tests to see if bingo skills can affect other areas of mental skill too; but for now, it’s clear that there is more to this riveting game than simply the chance at a big jackpot!