Among the activities that according to the researchers improve memory skills, even later in life, there is one that is very funny …
It is not the crossword puzzle, nor one of those memory games that have also proven to be effective when it comes to training the memory. According to some scientists, there is another unsuspected activity that seems to give particularly appreciable results in improving memory and is … latin dance!
Besides being fun, the salsa, samba and merengue lessons with theirs intricate stepsin fact, they not only keep the body in training, but also seem to have a powerful effect on the ability to remember.
Latin dances and memory: study
To say it is a study by the University of Chicago, which after 8 months, found a significant improvement in participants’ working memory scores to some Latin dance lessons. Working memory is a type of short-term memory used to keep small amounts of information in mind while participating in other cognitive tasks.
In the study, 330 Hispanic adults were assigned to bi-weekly dance sessions for eight months (or to a control group). The dancers were led by a professional instructor for the first four months then, during the maintenance phase, by other participants assigned as program samples, for their leadership skills and enthusiasm. While no differences were found between those who attended the dance classes and the control group in cognitive tests at 4 months, after 8 months the dancers and dancers showed significantly better scores on memory tests. How can this be explained?
According to scientists, the reasons why Latin dances strengthen memory could be many. During the lessons, you learn several steps which you will then have to remember the following week and turn them into sequences. Researchers believe that this step recall process activates different aspects of memory, but in a pleasant way. Participants in the dance experiment reported feeling better, making friends, and feeling more capable of managing chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. “Then there are the different components of dancing itself, including the fact that it is an aerobic activity, which has previously been shown to improve cognitive performance,” comments study author Susan Aguinaga, who worked on the program at the University of Illinois in Chicago (USA).
Furthermore, dancing is a physical activity where people are more willing to engage in the long term. And exercising consistently has been shown to help maintain memory and thinking skills. Studies in the past have found, for example, that individuals most likely to exercise had a more responsive brain and a lower risk of dementia. The mechanism by which this occurs is not yet fully understood. A widespread scientific hypothesis is that exercise produces better blood flow, improve circulation and vascular health and this affects the brain. But some scientists also believe it is possible that exercise triggers specific, still poorly understood factors that stimulate the growth and health of brain cells. In short, what is good for the body is also good for the mind.
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