Dec 12, 2016 08:44 PM EST
The Wonders That Taking a Deep Breath Can Do For your Brain and Memory
The advice to "just breathe deeply" is not only applicable whenever you are stressed. One of the most interesting developments in research involving breathing has found that it can result to improved memory and strengthened brain.
A study conducted by Northwestern University suggests that taking a deep breath can actually make your memories sharper and can strengthen your brain. In the study, the researchers learned that when an individual breathes in, he or she is more likely to remember anything they encountered compared to when they exhale. However, this does not happen the same way when the breathing is done through the mouth.
"One of the major findings in this study is that there is a dramatic difference in brain activity in the amygdala and hippocampus during inhalation compared with exhalation," said lead author Christina Zelano, assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Zelano said that when we breathe in deeply, something happens inside our brains compared to when we just breathe out.
"When you breathe in, we discovered you are stimulating neurons in the olfactory cortex, amygdala and hippocampus, all across the limbic system."
In a study conducted by the researchers among 60 participants, they found out that their brain functions were faster during inhalation, but when they breathed in with their mouth, the effect wasn't the same.
They also did another experiment to test the participants' memory during inhalation and confirmed the same results; they were able to recall images they encountered much easier when they saw it during inhalation.
They linked the results of the study to the tendency of a person to think faster in dangerous situations. They said that a person tends to breathe faster when in a panic state and that means that it encourages the brain to have a faster time response to the dangerous situation.
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