Certain activities are known to lower our cognitive abilities. No one is going to score their best on an intelligence test after a few shots of tequila or hits from a bong. Slamming your head repeatedly against a wall is not expected to improve thought processing, either.
But there are also some lesser-known factors that decrease brainpower. Some of these activities only impair intelligence temporarily, while others have been proven to have long-term effects.
10 Dim Lighting
Researchers at Michigan State University have discovered a link between dim lighting and a diminished ability to remember and learn.
Scientists studied the brains of a group of Nile grass rats. Like humans, Nile grass rats are active during the day and sleep at night. At the beginning of the study, the rats were trained to find their way through a maze. Then they were split into two groups, with half of the rats being exposed to bright light during the day and the other half being exposed to dim lighting.
After four weeks, the rats exposed only to dim lighting had lost 30 percent of capacity in the hippocampus, which is crucial to learning and memory. In addition, all the rats were reintroduced to the maze on which they had previously trained. The rats exposed to dim lighting performed worse than they had originally, while the rats exposed to bright light showed significant improvement.
The dim lighting used in the study is similar to typical indoor lighting found in most home and office settings.
Smartphones keep us in constant contact. As a result, our cognitive abilities suffer.
Researchers at the University of Texas studied a group of approximately 800 smartphone users. Participants were asked to take a series of computer tests that…