Modified bingo playing method helps cognition

Share this content:

Playing bingo boosts more than just nursing home residents' social skills: using the large, high-contrast bingo cards also improves cognitive skills and visual perception, researchers have found.

In order to determine how visual perception influences cognition, investigators from Case Western Reserve University, Boston University and Bridgewater State University observed a group of healthy seniors, healthy younger adults, seniors with Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other types of dementia all play bingo.

Researchers found that when study participants played bingo on computer screens that were adjusted for size, color contrast and brightness, players' scores improved. When those adjustments were made, people with mild dementia performed as well as their healthier peers. There was little improvement for those with severe dementia.

The study, “Bingo! Externally supported performance intervention for deficient visual search in normal aging, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease,” was published online in the journal Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition in December.