We’ve long known that stress is a bummer for your health, with effects ranging from increased belly fat to a higher risk of heart disease. A new study out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that rats’ prefrontal neurons maintained access to recently created memories by firing again and again—but under stress, the neurons became distracted from this repetitive firing.

Further research needs to be done (this study is in rats, after all!) but it’s safe to say that stress isn’t a boon for memory-making. Meditation, anyone?

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