High-frequency sound could boost brain function

By Shayna Brouker • Published: August 26th, 2013
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Need to boost your mastery of math? Could use you a little cushion when it comes to calculating? Your brain might just need a jolt to get jiving. A study from the University of Oxford found that zapping the brain with high frequency noise could amplify one’s ability to juggle numbers.

The study, published in the journal Current Biology, tested the brains of academia’s best and brightest students from the University of Oxford by evaluating their ability to remember math facts, like the multiplication tables, and make calculations. The researchers found that this brain zapping, known as transcranial random noise stimulation, helped students learn two to five times better. What’s more, six months after the stimulation, they were still 28 percent better at making calculations than the other participants.

Brain zapping isn’t as scary as it sounds. After all, the brain runs on its own form of electricity. Researchers think the method could work by activating neurons in the brain. But this is not a technique to try at home … if the nodes are placed incorrectly, they could burn your scalp. It’s also important to position the positive and negative nodes correctly, or it could have a negative effect instead.

Of course there are simpler ways to keep your noggin nourished. Eat fish like salmon, tuna, and cod. They are packed with brain-boosting fatty acids. Those who eat fish once a week may benefit from a 60-percent reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Be sure to get your greens, too: veggies like broccoli, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale boast particularly powerful brain protection. And yes, treating yourself to chocolate — the dark variety with at least 70 percent cocoa — can be considered a healthy part of your diet. Be sure to pamper your brain for the long haul.