By India Sturgia/The Daily Telegraph/!st August 2015
Are you taking Thomas Piketty’s Capital on holiday with you? Do you do sudoku for the promised brain workout it provides? Have you forced yourself to sit through improving documentaries when you would rather have been watching MasterChef? Bad news: it may all be for nothing.
According to experts, everything from our gadgets to our eating habits and ultimately modern life itself are eroding our brains, chipping away at neural pathways and making us slower, denser and less capable of original thought.
Most recently, a study by the University of Montreal, published this month, found that eating large quantities of saturated fat can have a significant effect on brain function, damaging the neural circuits that govern motivation and even leading to a sort of addiction.
Since the 1930s IQs across the world have largely increased thanks to better living conditions, improved nutrition and education. But scientists are now raising concerns that for the last decade, IQ scores have not just been levelling out but declining, and our collective intelligence has dropped by one IQ point in the last 50 years.
As well as learning new things you need to protect the home front, it seems. So, if you want to salvage what damp tissue you have left, here are some of the surprising ways you could be ruining your brain.
1 Tucking into a full English breakfast
Consuming large amounts of soggy saturated fats (bacon, buttery toast and fried eggs) hamper the brain’s dopamine function, a vital neurotransmitter responsible for motivation. Studies show that fatty diets impair cognitive flexibility, slow reaction times, damage memory and bring on feelings of depression in rats and other animals. The University of Montreal study found that high-fat feeding can cause “impairments in the functioning of the brain circuitry profoundly implicated in mood disorders, drug addiction, and overeating”. Read More