A friend or a neighbor may help you stay sharp just as much as a daily crossword — you only need to talk to him for ten minutes every day. 
Researchers have carried out a study and found that spending ten minutes talking to
another person helps improve the memory.


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"In our study, socialising was
just as effective as more traditional kinds of mental exercise in boosting
memory and intellectual performance," lead researcher Oscar Ybarra at the
University of Michigan was quoted as saying.


In fact, the researchers came
to the conclusion after conducting a test on 76 college students, aged 18 to 21.
Each student was assigned to one of three groups. Those in the social
interaction group engaged in a discussion of a social issue for 10 minutes
before taking the tests.


Those
in the intellectual activities group completed three tasks before taking the
tests. These tasks included a reading comprehension exercise and a crossword
puzzle. Those in a control group watched a 10-minute clip of


Seinfeld

.


Then all participants
completed two different tests of intellectual performance that measured their
mental processing speed and working memory.


Ybarra said, "We found that
short-term social interaction lasting for just 10 minutes boosted participants’
intellectual performance as much as engaging in so-called ‘intellectual’
activities for the same amount of time.


"To our knowledge, this
experiment represents the only causal evidence showing that social interaction
directly affects memory and mental performance in a positive way."

Via Times of India