Does My Brain Really Benefit from Crosswords?

If you’re looking to keep your brain fit, you may have considered doing crosswords. Some people believe that doing these puzzles can yield tremendous benefits for their brain and may even be able to prevent Alzheimer’s; but that’s not really true.

According to recent research, doing crosswords may yield some benefits for your brain and improve your fluency, a word finding brain function that is based in the speech and language centres of the brain. However, similar to physical exercise, in order to gain those benefits you must choose challenging crosswords and push the limits of your brain. Just like lifting weights that are too light, if a crossword puzzle is too easy then you are not going to gain benefits. Another important note is that while doing the challenging crossword puzzles will help you improve your brain fluency, this is only one process of many brain functions that can be enhanced. It is important to implement an array of brain training exercises in order to keep your brain fit.

Researchers at the University of Iowa published the results from their study in the May 2013 edition of the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE which found that individuals who did crosswords for 10 hours showed no substantial cognitive improvements while those who used our BrainHQ online brain training program for the same amount of time showed significant improvements. For more information on this study, read the press release here.

In summary, while crossword puzzles are fun and entertaining, it is important to make sure you take care of your brain health with proper brain training exercises.  Find out how much you know about the brain by giving our brain-trivia crossword a try!