Five Things That Can Hamper Your Cognitive Skills

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Five things students must avoid to improve their intelligence

Cognitive Skills

As a student, you always desire to improve your mental abilities that include learning capacity, analytical skills, and logical reasoning. You might have tried eating almonds and saline foods for the same. And, you would be in a regular habit of completing daily crossword puzzles to sharpen your mind. But these things won’t prove to be effective unless you eliminate the things that are sabotaging the normal functions of your brain in surprising ways. Here is a list of factors that have been proven to have a short and long-term impact on weakening your intelligence:

1)Dim Lighting

Reading in inadequate light not just puts a strain on your eyes but also affects your mental abilities as it induces the secretion of melatonin, a hormone responsible for inducing sleep. To prove this, a group of researchers at the Michigan University experimented with a group of Nile grass rats. During the first few days, the rats were trained to find their way through a network of hedges. Then they were separated into two groups. The first one was exposed to dim light and the second group was kept under bright light. The first unit showed a 30% decrease in the capacity of their hippocampus (the part of the brain responsible for learning and memorizing). On the other hand, the former group showed improvement as they were able to travel on their path more speedily.

2) Junk food

Unhealthy diet that includes excess of junk food and items rich in starch and cholesterol is said to have a dampening effect on the brain. Such things suppress the normal function of brain peptides that helps in learning and memory formation. Moreover, people who are habitual of eating junk foods on a daily basis are found to have swelling and inflammation in the areas of hippocampus which is associated with memory and special recognition. Apart from this, foods high in sugar and fat also stimulate stress hormones that affects our intelligence.

3) TV Shows

Researchers have discovered that what we learn by visualizing and experiencing has a long-term impact on our brain. While many TV programs are informative and good for us, watching trashy ones might have a deteriorating affect on our cognitive skills. Markus Appel, an Austrian psychologist and professor, carried of an experiment on a group of students and found that those who watch silly daily soaps have weak analytical and logical skills.

4) Obesity

Excessive fat can affect the normal functions of our body parts including the brain. As per a study conducted on 17 obese women, their brain metabolizes sugar faster than a normal person. As result of this difference in sugar processing, their brain gets excessive structural damage, which in turn affects their cognitive skills. However, after fat reduction surgery, these women showed exponential improvement in their intelligence quotient. In another study, it has also been found that obese people are more vulnerable to losing the white matter of the brain on aging which causes dementia.

5) Smartphones

Smartphone is the most common thing that is hampering our brain’s ability in many ways. As per a research conducted at the University of Texas, people who remain in constant contact with their Android devices have a weaker intelligence that those who use them for a few hours a day. The experiment was carried on 800 students who were asked to give a computer-based intelligence test. About half of the students were asked to leave their phone in another room, and the rest were ordered to keep it in silent mode in their pocket. The result was surprising as the first half students solved 80% questions correctly while the rest showed an average accuracy of 46%. The experiment shows that a smartphone can severely affect one’s concentration and problem-solving skills.

As now you know about the things that are deteriorating your intelligence on a daily basis, try to avoid them.

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