Professor Alan Gow

In The Ageing Lab at Heriot-Watt, we explore how different kinds of activities might help protect our thinking skills.

As we get older, we might expect to experience some changes in our thinking and memory skills. But these changes vary from person to person.

Some people experience relatively small changes with age, while for others more serious changes in thinking skills like their memory might affect their day to day life.

In The Ageing Lab at Heriot-Watt, we explore how different kinds of activities might help protect our thinking skills.

Why are we doing this?

Well, one of the main things people want as they get older is to ‘stay sharp’; losing those skills and abilities is a big fear for many. So, we’re looking at how getting physically, mentally or socially engaged in a new activity might be good for brain health, so that we can suggest what type of activity might offer the best benefit.

This could be anything from people meeting and interacting with others in a group setting, or learning new things like computer skills or languages.

Research is showing that lifestyle and behaviour changes appear to have benefits for our brain health as we age, and so we want to get those messages to as many people as possible so that we people can stay sharper for longer.