If you’ve ever needed an excuse to spend more time having fun under the covers, we’ve got you sorted.
sex can improve mental performance and cause growth of new brain cells
New research has found that having sex can improve mental performance
and increase neurogenesis (the production of new neurons) in the part
of the brain where long term memories are formed, the hippocampus.
Scientists at the University of Maryland found that middle-aged rats
who had sex showed signs of improved cognitive function and
“hippocampal” function, reports The Atlantic.
Having sex also helps balance out the effects of chronic stress, according to research conducted by Konkuk University in Seoul.
They experimented with mice and found that sexual activity, “could be
helpful for buffering adult hippocampal neurogenesis and recognition
memory function against the suppressive actions of chronic stress”.
But can this theory work in reverse? Do smarter people have more sex?
Unfortunately, the answer is “no”. In fact, smarter teenagers tend to start having sex later in life.
Having a high working memory decreases the likelihood of an early
adolescent sexual debut, according to a 2012 study by researchers at the
University of Pennsylvania.
While having sex can increase the rate at which new brain cells are
born, only effortless, successful learning increases their survival,
according to leading psychologist Tracey J. Shors from the Centre for
Collaborative Neuroscience at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
“You can make new cells with exercise, Prozac and sex,” she said. “If
you do mental training, you’ll keep alive more cells that you produced.
And if you do both, now you have the best of both worlds – you’re
making more cells and keeping more alive.”