When does the brain work best?
The peak times and ages for learning
What’s your ideal time of the day for brain performance?Surprisingly, the answer to this isn’t as simple as being amorning or a night person. New research has shown thatcertain times of the day are best for completing specifictasks, and listening to your body’s natural clock may helpyou to accomplish more in 24 hours.
Science suggests that the best time for our naturalpeak productivity is late morning. Our body temperaturesstart to rise just before we wake up in the morning andcontinue to increase through midday, Steve Kay, aprofessor of molecular and computational biology at theUniversity of Southern California told The Wall StreetJournal. This gradual increase in body temperature meansthat our working memory, alertness, and concentrationalso gradually improve, peaking at about mid morning.Our alertness tends to dip after this point, but one studysuggested that midday fatigue may actually boost ourcreative abilities. For a 2011 study, 428 students wereasked to solve a series of two types of problems, requiringeither analytical or novel thinking. Results showedthat their performance on the second type was best atnon-peak times of day when they were tired.
As for the age where our brains are at peak condition,science has long held that fluid intelligence, or the abilityto think quickly and recall information, peaks at aroundage 20. However, a 2015 study revealed that peak brainage is far more complicated than previously believed andconcluded that there are about 30 subsets of intelligence,all of which peak at different ages for different people. Forexample, the study found that raw speed in processinginformation appears to peak around age 18 or 19, thenimmediately starts to decline, but short-term memorycontinues to improve until around age 25, and then beginsto drop around age 35, Medical Xpress reported. The abilityto evaluate other people’s emotional states peaked muchlater, in the 40s or 50s. In addition, the study suggested thatout our vocabulary may peak as late as our 60s’s or 70’s.
Still, while working according to your body’s natural clockmay sound helpful, it’s important to remember that thesetimes may differ from person to person. On average, peoplecan be divided into two distinct groups: morning people tendto wake up and go to sleep earlier and to be most productiveearly in the day. Evening people tend to wake up later, startmore slowly and peak in the evening. If being a morning orevening person has been working for you the majority ofyour life, it may be best to not fix what’s not broken.
(Dana Dovey. www.medicaldaily.com, 08.08.2016. Adaptado.)
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