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Is Your Memory Better in Spring or Fall?
Do you notice a difference in your brainpower based on the season? It could very well be that cold temperatures or steamy, humid days can make a difference in how well you think and even in the strength of your short-term memory, reports HealthDay News of research from the University of Liege in Belgium.

If you want a brain power boost, drink a cup of coffee. But beware! There is one big catch--and men, you won't like this one bit.

The study: Led by Gilles Vandewalle, the team followed 28 young adults--14 men and 14 women--with an average age of 21 between May 2010 and October 2011. At various times during the study period, the participants spent 4.5 days in laboratories where they could not see outside. There was no daylight visible, and they had no access to the outside world. Brain scans were used to study how the volunteers handled tasks that tested their ability to pay attention and remember things on a short-term basis.

The results: The brain scans showed that...

  • Attention skills were best near the summer solstice in June and worst near the winter solstice in December.

  • Short-term memory was best in the fall and worst in the spring.

Here's an important note: Vandewalle emphasized that the differences in brain function are not significant enough for us to notice in day-to-day life; however, the amount of brain activity did change and she insists that the season is most likely responsible for that.

How do the seasons affect our brainpower? It's not totally clear, but the researchers think it is multiple factors, such as seasonal changes in humidity, temperature, the length of days and even social interaction between people that are involved.

More than anything else, one activity helps improve your memory--so much so that when you do it, the area of the brain involved in memory actually grows in size.

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