Nicholas Spitzer is a professor of neuroscience at UC Berkeley. The Economist asked him what he does to protect his brain and this was his answer: Rock climbing, ice climbing, and going to the gym. What about reading and doing crossword puzzles? According to Spitzer, “It is good for improving your crossword skills but does it lead on to other kinds of advanced cognitive function? No. There is no translation of the crossword skills to other skill categories. That shouldn’t discourage anyone, they are a lot of fun, but a vigorous hike will do more for your cognitive function.”