Many of us spend a significant portion of our adult lives at work. A new study
shows there may actually be some benefit in addition to a paycheck.
Psychologist Guy Potter at Duke
University Medical Center studies the brain.
finds in a recent study that doing a job that is intellectually demanding
creates thinking abilities that stay with us into old age -- regardless of a
person's intelligence or education.
GUY POTTER, DUKE UNIVERSITY MEDICAL
"What we're finding out (is)
that jobs that have the attributes of being demanding organizationally,
requiring research, requiring a response to something that might be happening
new on the job day after day after day."
Potter and colleagues studied more than one thousand
veterans of World War Two who are now elderly but, at the time they
joined the military, they took an intelligence test.
Starting at age 60,
they took periodic follow-up tests to evaluate their mental abilities.
The researchers found that those who benefited the most from
intellectually challenging jobs were those who had lower intelligence scores as
GUY POTTER, DUKE UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER says
"In general, a repetitive job probably is doing less
for you cognitively than a job that requires a lot of problem solving."
However, Potter says an
intellectually challenging job may not prevent dementia or Alzheimer's disease,
but it may delay the onset.
Listen to audio files for more details.
Editor: Jane Friedman
Translator: Vannasone Keodara