Most people know that mid-afternoon feeling when you just can't seem to get your brain into gear. You try your best, you take a walk, you have a break and despite your best efforts, still struggle to kick the cognitive haze.
New research indicates that it might actually be more than a case of willpower and that our bio-chemistry has a large effect on our cognitive output. What a surprise!
Published in the journal NeuroImage, this study sought to better understand the role inflammation plays in cognitive performance . Dr. Ali Mazaheri, a senior author of this study, noted the following with regards to inflammation:
'Scientists have long suspected a link between inflammation and cognition, but it is very difficult to be clear about the cause and effect.'
Participants in the study were intentionally inoculated with an inflaming vaccine before being asked to complete a series of tests. The challenges looked at executive control, alertness, and attention. Essentially, the study asked the question, what state of inflammation caused a decline in cognitive performance, if any?