European practices that enhance cognitive function: regular modest alcohol consumption and siestas
Research reported in Scientific American: Mind (January 2008, p. 9) demonstrates that rats that consumed the human equivalent of one or two beers a day showed marked improvement in memory of visual and emotional stimuli. “The modest booze consumption strengthened communication between memory neurons.” However, heavy alcohol consumption was found to compromise object recognition.
Yet another cognitive scientifically validated European cultural practice! Another such practice is the siesta, as practiced in a number of Mediterranean nations and hot climate regions around the world. It has been found that the normal human biological rhythm includes a dip in the afternoon. Research has shown that a short afternoon nap can pay dividends for post-nap productivity. The New York Times also reports on research indicating that regular day naps can extend one’s life.