Here’s Why You Should Be Eating Those Sweet Treats For The Sake Of Your Memory

If you struggle to say no to your sweet tooth, this latest research is bound to make you smile.

While you think you might be helping curb your cravings by turning down that chocolate or cupcake, the latest study based on brain scans has revealed that restricting ourselves affects parts of the brain related to attention and memory.

pay attention

Assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience Tobias Egner from Duke University teamed up with postdoctoral researcher Yu-Chin Chiu to test how self-discipline affected memory.

Published in the Journal of Neurosceience, participants were asked to complete a computer-based task where they were asked to press a button if they saw a male face, but to hold off if they saw a female face.

After looking at 120 different faces, the group were given a different task that had nothing to do with facial recognition. They were then issued a surprise memory test.

The participants were then shown a SECOND set of 120 faces, with some faces repeated from the first round. Although researchers expected participants to respond quicker, they found that memory was stilted or lost on faces where they had originally had to inhibit their responses.

The researchers found that people were so focussed on the task rather than the faces that they were no longer able to distinguish the small changes.

So if you love chocolate, but restrict your tastes by telling yourself you’re on a diet, you might be inhibiting the part of your brain which can later ration portions of dinner or snacks.

Egner’s group is now studying whether and how other modes of control – such as moderation, switching tasks or changing rules – may affect a participant’s memory.

So next time you’re trying to be good, you could be sabotaging your own levels of control.

If anything, it just means you should have a square of chocolate or that biscuit with your tea…

H/T Mail Online

Source: Here’s Why You Should Be Eating Those Sweet Treats For The Sake Of Your Memory

Via: Google Alert for Neuroscience

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