Breathe in for better brain function
Researchers in the United States have learned that the rhythm of breathing sparks electrical activity in the part of the brain where emotions, memories and smells are stored, the West Australian reports.
Scientists at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago found that brain activity correlated with breathing while assessing epileptic patients using implanted electrodes.
“When you breathe in, we discovered you are stimulating neurons all across the limbic system,” says the leader of the study, assistant professor of neurology Dr Christina Zelano.
This prompted them to conduct a broader experiment testing subjects’ recall of objects and faces. Subjects were able to recall a face 2 seconds faster breathing in through their noses than breathing out, but the effect didn’t work when breathing through their mouths. The results of the study have been published in the US Journal of Neuroscience.