Topic: brain function

Study Confirms Corn Syrup Is The Devil—For Your Body And Brain

Study Confirms Corn Syrup Is The Devil—For Your Body And Brain

A new study out from the Journal of Physiology says that a diet high in sugar might affect your ability to think and learn. The negative effects of sugar aren’t new information, but this is the first study that suggests that sweeteners might be bad for your brain as well as your body.  Don’t get too alarmed, though: the main culprit is the dietary devil, corn syrup. More »

Study Says Brain Function Declines At Age 45; Possibly Explaining John McCain’s Recent ‘Senior Moment’

Study Says Brain Function Declines At Age 45; Possibly Explaining John McCain's Recent 'Senior Moment'

We used to think that we had a lot longer before we had to worry about those embarrassing “Now why did I come in here?” and “What was I going to say?” and in the case of John McCain, “Who was I endorsing?” moments. That’s because scientists used to say our mental abilities didn’t start to deteriorate until age 60. But now there’s new research out about the declining state of our brains at the not-so-old age of just 45. Gads. More »

Light Up Your Memory, Not A Cigarette—Quitting Smoking Boosts Recall Function

Light Up Your Memory, Not A Cigarette—Quitting Smoking Boosts Recall Function

Add decreased memory function to the list of health ailments that smoking can cause: A new study shows smokers have worse memories than non-smokers. Ditching the cigarettes, however, could bring back some of that memory function. On a practical recall test, people who had quit smoking for a few years performed 25% better than current smokers; people who had never smoked scored 37% better. More »

Junk Food Photos Elicit Different Responses in Brains of Obese, Non-Obese

Junk Food Photos Elicit Different Responses in Brains of Obese, Non-Obese

There was a time when people thought body-size was all about willpower—control what you eat, exercise, and you’ll be thin; over-indulge or sloth around, and you won’t. Of course, we know now that it’s much more complicated than that—so many other factors, like genetics, metabolism, environment and the type of calories consumed (to name just a few) play a role in weight and body size. Lately, however, researchers have been coming back to the issue of ‘self-control’ in weight management—only this time, scientists are looking at its biological basis. More »

Salt Could Make You Stupid, Says Research

Salt Could Make You Stupid, Says Research

A new study suggests that eating less salt and exercising more may keep our brains smarter longer–in case you needed further motivation to put down the Doritos and head to the gym. This isn’t the first time that physical activity has been linked to better brain function, but the bit about sodium is something that might surprise you. Researchers didn’t investigate the mechanism by which salt makes us stupid (if that’s really true); they found a strong correlation between sedentary lifestyle, high sodium consumption and declining cognitive function. So should you put down the salt shaker? More »

Hold Your Pee and Cross Your Arms to Boost Brainpower

Hold Your Pee and Cross Your Arms to Boost Brainpower

A study published in Psychological Science earlier this year suggested that bladder control equals better mind control: When offered several choices (between receiving $16 tomorrow or $30 in 35 days, for example), subjects who had a full bladder made better overall decisions. The study begs jokes about gulping down coffee before heading to the mall, but there are more practical implications than just knowing that you’ll do better if you have to pee. Instead of assuming that the mind always controls the body, the research flips traditional thinking on its head: What we do with our body — everything from physical posture to what we eat — can also go to our head. More »

Curry Could Treat Brain Injury and Stroke

Curry Could Treat Brain Injury and Stroke

Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have discovered that a synthetic compound derived from curry may protect against stroke and traumatic brain injury. They’ve found that a synthetic derivative of turmeric (a spice found in curry) could improve the physical and behavioral deficiencies in mice who’ve suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI) or stroke, and may be useful in clinical treatment for humans. More »