Enhancing the cognitive abilities of older adults could change their personalities, previously thought to be fixed. Researchers at the University of Illinois found that a program to boost cognition could actually increase the degree to which an older adult is open to new experiences. Personality psychologists believe that unlike other personality traits, openness is associated to cognitive abilities. During the study, older adults were given a series of pattern recognition and problem-solving tasks and puzzles that they could perform at home. The difficulty of tasks increased each week. At the end of the investigation it was found that those who had engaged in the training and practice sessions saw improvements in their pattern-recognition and problem-solving skills, in addition to a significant increase in openness. Personality has long been associated with cognitive functioning, however, with a person's characteristics being one of the main ways used to test for dementia. Find the nearest Barchester care home.