3. Drinking green tea improves working memory.4. Giving to other people activates your brain’s reward center, giving you a rush of feel-good dopamine; it’s called a helper’s high.5. Getting moderately drunk can help with problem solving by making you think more creatively.6. Mirror neurons in the brain are what allow us to feel empathy.
9. The brain responds to sugar the way it does to cocaine.10. Neuroscientists have found that pleasure-sensing areas of our brain kick into high gear around money or people who outrank us socially (for instance, at the casino, or in the presence of a celebrity).11. A 2009 study shows that people in love tend to think more long-term.
12. Exercise can reduce the brain’s response to stress by dampening activity in a region of the brain related to anxiety.13. Talking to yourself can boost brain power, helping you solve cognitive tasks faster.14. Long-term stress shrinks your brain.
15. A small Swedish study shows that just one night of sleep deprivation may kill brain cells.16. Your brain never stops forming new brain cells.17. Women get more stressed out by bad news than men do.
18. When pregnant women exercise for 20 minutes three times a week in their second and third trimesters, their babies are born with more developed cerebral activity.19. A survey of 24 studies examining the effects of physical exercise on mental functioning found that after 10- to 40-minute bouts of exercise, people show enhanced higher level cognitive processing, which includes things like planning and self-control.20. Stress sweat smells worse than regular sweat.
21. Doing cardio in young adulthood improves brain function in middle age.22. Shopping in high heels primes your brain to feel off balance, making you more likely to choose a cheaper middle-of-the-road option than a high-priced splurge (that is, pick the product that establishes more balance between desire and need).23. There are five different types of boredom.
24. To the brain, reading emotionally charged writing, such as fiction and poetry, is like listening to music (the same region is activated when you read a moving passage as when you hear a moving song).25. Emotional reactions happen faster than logical ones because when the brain processes stimuli from the outside world, information gets dumped more quickly into the amygdala (the emotional part of the brain) than it does the cortex (logic central).26. When the human brain hears the word “don’t,” it responds by stimulating a craving to do exactly what it was told not to.
27. A survey of a dozen studies found that people who ate the Mediterranean way—lots of olive oil, vegetables, fruit and fish—had a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease and slower cognitive decline.28. Your brain can tell whether you’re eating something with real sugar or artificial sweeteners.29. You can get chemically addicted to stress.
30. Previous explanations claim that yawning provides a boost of oxygen, but a new theory suggests that’s it’s a way to cool down the brain (that is, A/C for your noodle).31. Schadenfreude—from the German schaden, for damage, and freude, joy—is the sensation of pleasure you feel from seeing bad things happen to other people.32. A 2014 study out of Carroll University in Wisconsin says that cat people are smarter than dog people.
33. The brain has a sort of plumbing network, called the “glyphatic system,” which nightly flushes out toxins that accumulate in your brain during the day.34. On any given day, studies show, you’re likely to spend as much as half your waking hours zoning out.35. People remember things they read in print better than things they read online.