It’s a cold winter’s day, and you’re solving some incredibly difficult math problems easily. You’re amazed at how quickly you’re able to breeze through without spending too much time on each one. However, on a summer morning a few months ago, the scorching heat was killing you and you had a term paper due the next day but hadn’t gotten past a few lines for hours. Does this sound familiar to you? Did you know that this change in cognitive ability is because your brain actually works better in cold weather than in hot weather? Stunned and wondering how that’s possible? Read on and be blown away by how your amazing brain functions.
Does Your Brain React To Changes In Temperature?
While you probably can’t fathom how it’s possible, temperature does, in fact, play a role in the way your brain functions. Let’s break things down to understand this better. Your
While this is the case, your brain also needs glucose to get your body to regulate its temperature. During winter, your body responds to low external temperatures by using glucose to shiver. Likewise, in summers, your body uses glucose to make you sweat as a response to high external temperatures; this prevents the occurrence of heat strokes and hypothermia – a condition in which your body temperature becomes abnormally low.
Why Does Warm Weather Lower Cognitive Ability?
Cooling the body in warm weather seems to require more energy than warming it in cold weather. When it’s hot, your body uses more glucose to bring
How Was This Identified?
Two researchers conducted a study to confirm that cognitive abilities actually decrease in warm weather. They analyzed sales patterns for a number of lottery games with daily temperature as a function of the study. Sales for games that involved choosing between many options saw a fall every time the weather got hotter even by 1 degree Fahrenheit.
The researchers then conducted a few more studies in which they analyzed the cognitive performance of participants by
To confirm that it was actually less glucose that was causing this effect in the participants, the researchers conducted yet another study. In this new study, they reduced the glucose supply of half of the participants before putting them into rooms of varying temperature and, then, tested cognitive performance. The participants in warm conditions performed in a manner quite similar to those deprived of glucose. This established the relationship between temperature, glucose, and cognitive functioning.
It’s important to note that this research doesn’t suggest that people in constantly warm weather have poor cognitive function or those in constantly
|↑1||Cheema, Amar, and Vanessa M. Patrick. “Influence of warm versus cool temperatures on consumer choice: A resource depletion account.” Journal of Marketing Research 49, no. 6 (2012): 984-995.|