A new study, performed by an international team of researchers from the University of California, Irvine, USA, and the University of Tsukuba, Japan, suggests that only 10 minutes of light physical activity may boost your memory.
To check their hypothesis, the researchers asked 36 healthy adult participants to carry out only 10 minutes of light exercise. After that, the scientists used high-resolution functional MRI to measure changes in brain activity.
Michael Yassa, a project co-leader, says: “What we observed is that these 10-minute periods of exercise showed results immediately afterward.” Yassa and his team are planning to continue investigating. Next, they are going to run longer-term studies in older adults who have the higher risk of cognitive decline.
A new study from the Stevens School of Business in New Jersey, USA, finds that even coffee scent can sharpen the brain under certain conditions.
In the study, 114 students were involved. The participants were divided into two group and both had to answer mathematical questions. One group has been exposed to a coffee smell during the study. The scent was free from caffeine and other stimulants.
The researchers also executed a follow-up survey. They asked questions of 208 individuals not involved in the first test and found that a coffee scent was associated with being more alert and energetic, compared with other scents such as flowers, or with no scent.
Lead researchers of the study Adriana Madzhrov says: “Olfaction is one of our most powerful senses. Employers, architects, building developers, retail space managers and others, can use subtle scents to help shape employees’ or occupants’ experience with their environment.”
A new Australian study found that aerobic exercise can improve memory and maintain brain health as we age.
Researchers from Australia’s National Institute of Complementary Medicine at Western Sydney University and the Division of Psychology and Mental Health at the University of Manchester in the UK examined the effects of aerobic exercise on a region of the brain called the hippocampus, which is critical for memory and other brain functions.
Brain health decreases with age, with the average brain shrinking by approximately five per cent per decade after the age of 40.
The researches included 737 people to study regularly viewing 14 clinical trials which examined their brain scans before and after aerobic exercise programs or in control conditions.
The researchers examined effects of aerobic exercise, including stationary cycling, walking, and treadmill running.
Overall, the results — published in the journal NeuroImage — showed that, while exercise had no effect on total hippocampal volume, it did significantly increase the size of the left region of the hippocampus in humans.
Behavioral neuroscientists from UCLA identified changes in two brain regions that may answer to a question why some people prefer order and certainty while others prefer frequent changes and impulsive decisions.
The researchers set several experiments with rats. They found that all rats chose the risky option more often in the experiments. The exception was the rats without a functional basolateral amygdala, and those animals did not take risks during the experiments.
Changes in the brain regions and brain proteins may help scientists to explain people’s preferences for some outcomes. In the future, this knowledge may help to target any brain region to treat any disorder, including behavioral addictions such as gambling.
A recent study by the team of researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine suggests that when men and women work together, their brains may not take the same approach to cooperation.
In this research, the areas of the brain that lit up were synchronized when two men carried out a task, and when two women did the same, although these areas were different in men and women. In pairs including one man and one woman, the brain activity didn’t synchronize.
More than 50 years of research showed that men and women have different ways of cooperation, the study says.
Dr. Allan Reiss, a professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine, and the lead author of the study said: “It’s not that either males or females are better at cooperating, or can’t cooperate with each other. Rather, there’s just a difference in how they’re cooperating.”