Why Thinking Hard Makes You Tired - Neuroscience News

Why Thinking Hard Makes You Tired - Neuroscience News

Why Thinking Hard Makes You Tired - Neuroscience News
Aug 12, 2022 2 mins, 7 secs

Neuroscience can involve research from many branches of science including those involving neurology, brain science, neurobiology, psychology, computer science, artificial intelligence, statistics, prosthetics, neuroimaging, engineering, medicine, physics, mathematics, pharmacology, electrophysiology, biology, robotics and technology.

– These articles focus mainly on neurology research.

– Neurology research can include information involving brain research, neurological disorders, medicine, brain cancer, peripheral nervous systems, central nervous systems, nerve damage, brain tumors, seizures, neurosurgery, electrophysiology, BMI, brain injuries, paralysis and spinal cord treatments.

Summary: Extended intense cognitive work causes potentially toxic byproducts to build up in the prefrontal cortex.

This alters control over decision-making, causing a shift toward low-cost actions that require less effort as cognitive fatigue sets in.

Their studies, reported in Current Biology on August 11, show that when intense cognitive work is prolonged for several hours, it causes potentially toxic byproducts to build up in the part of the brain known as the prefrontal cortex.

This in turn alters your control over decisions, so you shift toward low-cost actions requiring no effort or waiting as cognitive fatigue sets in, the researchers explain.

“But our findings show that cognitive work results in a true functional alteration—accumulation of noxious substances—so fatigue would indeed be a signal that makes us stop working but for a different purpose: to preserve the integrity of brain functioning.”.

Together with earlier evidence, the authors say it supports the notion that glutamate accumulation makes further activation of the prefrontal cortex more costly, such that cognitive control is more difficult after a mentally tough workday!

“A neuro-metabolic account of why daylong cognitive work alters the control of economic decisions” by Mathias Pessiglione et al.

A neuro-metabolic account of why daylong cognitive work alters the control of economic decisions?

Behavioral activities that require control over automatic routines typically feel effortful and result in cognitive fatigue?

Beyond subjective report, cognitive fatigue has been conceived as an inflated cost of cognitive control, objectified by more impulsive decisions.

However, the origins of such control cost inflation with cognitive work are heavily debated.

We validated this account using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to monitor brain metabolites throughout an approximate workday, during which two groups of participants performed either high-demand or low-demand cognitive control tasks, interleaved with economic decisions.

At the end of the day, high-demand cognitive work resulted in higher glutamate concentration and glutamate/glutamine diffusion in a cognitive control brain region (lateral prefrontal cortex [lPFC]), relative to low-demand cognitive work and to a reference brain region (primary visual cortex [V1])

While machines can compute continuously, the brain can’t

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