The Washington Post asked one of their journalists to test-drive several of the increasing number of ‘cognitive fitness’ websites that have online games and puzzles specifically designed to increase mental performance.
Although there isn’t a massive amount of research on the subject, the little research there is suggests that staying mentally active, particularly during later life, can increase or maintain mental abilities.
The Washington Post article gives a brief run-down of some of the science that motivates these companies, and tries out several of the websites for size.
Interestingly, the Post also got research psychologists to comment on the sites to see if their tasks were likely to be doing what they claimed.
Link to Washington Post article ‘Pumping Neurons’.