Laughter could improve memory according to scientists
Everybody knows that laughter is a great source of happiness and health but did you know that it can also boost you memory? A new research proved that it can decrease the chance of memory loss of elderly people.
The study was introduced at San Diego’s Experimental Biology meeting. 20 healthy people of the ages from 66 to 72 were the subjects of the research and they were divided into groups. One of the groups was asked to sit silently in a room. The other one involved healthy people and people with diabetes. In another room they had to watch a short funny video.
After that, the scientists checked the subjects’ memory and saw that the ones who had watched the amusing short film had better results for their learning potential, memory recall and visual identification. Moreover, it was proven that the memory recall and learning potential were increased by around 40% for the people who were being entertained. In comparison, the other group’s memory was boosted only by 20%.
The group of the entertained people also had their cortisol levels tested. Cortisol is a stress hormone which has negative effects on the brain cells. The study showed that the cortisol levels had decreased as a result of the laughing experience of the test subjects, both the healthy ones and the people with diabetes. The other group, which wasn’t being entertained, were also tested and the result showed no change in their cortisol levels.
It is interesting that the people with diabetes presented the best results- they had the most significant boost of their memory compared to the other participants in the survey, as well as their cortisol levels dropped the most after watching the funny movie.
It is widely known that stress is harmful for your body. A new study has also shown that it can also make the brain more prone to mental illness. Other researches have found that stress directly impacts the production of cortisol in the brain. Therefore, stress can be harmful to your memory and to the learning potential of older people.
Laughter provides your body and brain with the hormones which boost not only your mood, but also- your memory- dopamine and endorphins. It also increases immune functions, blood flow and lowers the blood pressure.
This new research can be helpful for the advancement of rehabilitation projects for the elderly. In order to improve the memory health of the older adults, humor therapies should be implemented in these programs because learning abilities and memory recall tend to get tougher with age and are needed for the normal quality of life.