Smart guys and dolls

Elizabeth Svoboda

Simple games like bingo are standard fare for the elderly who want to pass the time. But seniors who want to keep their minds sharp should consider ditching the cards and taking the stage instead.

Helga Noice, a cognitive psychologist at Elmhurst College in Illinois, enrolled a group of aging adults in four weeks of theater classes. After the course, the amateur actors scored 18 percent better on a word-recall test and 55 percent better on a problem-solving test than they had at the outset.

Noice speculates that acting engages the brain’s verbal, physical and emotional capacities in a way few other activities do.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Sussex Publishers, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

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