The Online Mind: How Internet Use Affects Older Adults’ Cognitive Health

Originally published on Mather Lifeways Institute on Aging:

Many of us are struggling to limit “screen time” these days in order to spend less time online. But can using the internet be good for older adults’ cognitive health?

In a study of older adults from 14 European countries, researchers investigated how using the internet influences cognitive functioning. As a measure of general online activity, participants were asked if they had used the internet in the past week. This was then compared with participants’ performance on a series of tests of cognitive functioning. But it was important to figure out the direction of this relationship—does using the internet lead to better cognitive health, or does better cognitive health make older adults more likely to use the internet?

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