Want to beef up your brain power in your old age? Try thinking positive. Researchers at Ohio State University have found that when seniors are in a good mood, they’re more likely to perform well on memory and decision-making tasks. Earlier studies have shown similar effects in younger adults. And it doesn’t take much to get happy: In the Ohio State experiment, test subjects were given candy and thank-you cards, and were set up on computers with smiley-sun wallpaper. That was enough to give them a lift… and an edge in cognitive testing.
So next time you see grandma, give her a reason to smile, whether it’s a big hug, or one of those molasses cookies she likes. You’ll be doing her mental faculties a favour.