HomeTagsPosts tagged with "Cognitive function"

Cognitive function

If you've ever found yourself with a bad case of brain fog after milling into a share-size bar of chocolate, you're not alone.

A new study has found that certain types of sugars can seriously decrease our cognitive performance, meaning that a 3pm trip to the biscuit cupboard is probably the worst way to get over the afternoon slump.

Researchers at the University of Otago in New Zealand took 49 participants and tested how sugars affected their ability to perform cognitive tasks.

For the purpose of the study, the three most common dietary sugars, glucose, fructose and sucrose, were tested against a placebo sweetener, sucralose.

After consuming the sugars, subjects were asked to complete simple response time, arithmetic and Stroop interference tests.

Results showed that those who ingested glucose and sucrose performed worse in the tasks when compared to those who ingested fructose and sucralose.

Speaking to PsyPost, Mei Peng, one of the study's authors said: “I am fascinated by how our senses influence our behaviour and affect our everyday lives.”

“In particular, how sugar consumption might change the way our brains work.”

“Our study suggests that the ‘sugar coma’ – with regards to glucose – is indeed a real phenomenon, where levels of attention seem to decline after consumption of glucose-containing sugar.”

So, the next you're in need of a little pick-up-me, try skipping the sweet stuff.


There are very few women out there who wouldn't claim that their menstrual cycle affects them physically, mentally and emotionally.

From cramps and exhaustion to mood swings and tearful episodes, the arrival of our period often signals a change in how we feel.

For many of us, our period appears to impact our cognitive function, with many women asserting that they experience a dip in concentrations levels during this time of the month.

"As a specialist in reproductive medicine and a psychotherapist, I deal with many women who have the impression that the menstrual cycle influences their well-being and cognitive performance,"  confirmed Professor Brigitte Leeners of the Medical School in Hannover and University Hospital in Zürich.

In order to investigate the claims, Professor Leeners and a team of researchers recruited 68 women to undergo monitoring of three selected cognitive processes at different stages in the menstrual cycle.

The study, which was published in the Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, established that the varying levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone which are produced during the menstrual cycle have no impact on memory or concentration.

Studying women over the course of two menstrual cycles, the researchers noted that while some changed occurred in the first cycle, they were not repeated in the second cycle, and the performance of each individual woman did not change.

Confirming the findings, Professor Leeners asserted: "The hormonal changes related to the menstrual cycle do not show any association with cognitive performance."

Offering an explanation to women who do experience cognitive disfunction during their period, Professor Leeners said: "Although there might be individual exceptions, women's cognitive performance is in general not disturbed by hormonal changes occurring with the menstrual cycle."


You don't need us to tell you that exercise is good for you.

At this stage we all know that in addition to improving your physical health, breaking a sweat on the regular also does wonders for your mental and emotional wellbeing.

But did you know that regular exercise can also impact on your cognitive ability? In other words, your work-out sessions can actually positively impact the ol' noodle.

According to a review of studies published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, getting active for just 45 minutes a day can help to boost your brain health and improve your cognition.

Researchers from the University of Canberra established that regardless of the form of exercise the individual chooses to partake in, exercise of moderate intensity was linked to improved cognition.

But there's more!

Different exercises were linked to different areas of the mind, with aerobic impacting positively on thinking, reading and learning while resistance training helped with memory, planning, and organising.

And, perhaps unsurprisingly, the more often the individual works out, the greater the cognitive effects!

And we thought our lunges were only working our thighs…