It has been widely considered that each human being has a preset level of intelligence – we have to work with what we are given. However, the influx of scientific studies around brain function has led us to a different conclusion. According to science, there are activities and habits people can do to make themselves smarter. In this article we will look at 6 Activities That Make You Smarter, According to Science.
Yes, video games. Playing video games has been shown to have several positive effects on the brain. Researchers in Germany found that playing 30 minutes of Super Mario daily for two months resulted in an increase in the brain regions responsible for spatial orientation, memory formation, and strategic planning. In another study, people who played action games saw an increased ability to track several objects at the same time and pay attention to fast-moving events.
According to a study at the University of Georgia, researchers found that periods of up to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise increased aspects of information processing. That being said, the study emphasized the importance of not exercising to the point of dehydration as this led to decreased memory function and information processing. So hit the gym but make sure you’ve got your water bottle with you.
Research has shown that reading fiction can cause a heightened connectivity in the left temporal cortex. This a part of the brain which is associated with receiving and interpreting language. So if you want to understand information better, crack open that novel on your nightstand. Fiction has also been seen to help with emotional intelligence.
4. Learning a Language
A study at PSU shows that those who learn another language strengthen connections between brain regions. The faster these regions can work together, the more efficient the brain will be. If you’re looking to tackle a second language I recommend looking at Duolingo.
5. Switching Up Your Diet
Cutting sugars out of your diet has been shown to improve cognitive function over the long term. Research in Australia found there was a correlation between obesity and the size of the hippocampus. In obese subjects, they found the hippocampi to be smaller, an area crucial to learning and memory.
6. Taking Naps
In a study comparing the effects of caffeine and napping on memory retention, researchers found that napping led to increased alertness and improvement on memory-related tasks. Health writer, Jane Langille says, “Sleep experts have found that daytime naps can improve many things: increase alertness, boost creativity, reduce stress, improve perception, stamina, motor skills and accuracy, enhance your sex life, aid in weight loss, reduce the risk of heart attack, brighten your mood and boost memory.” So if you’re feeling a bit low on energy head to the couch instead of the coffee pot.
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