Remember to clench your hand

  • Posted: Thursday, May 2, 2013 12:01 a.m.

You’re reading a complicated report so you can summarize it for your supervisor, but your mind keeps wandering. You clench your right hand in frustration, and bingo. You can tell something has happened.

Your memory is humming along more efficiently — if research at Montclair (N.J.) State University is correct.

But don’t forget to clench your left hand when you make your presentation. That’s what helps you dredge up the information out of your memory.

Authors of a recent report published by PLOS ONE, an international, peer-reviewed, online publication, found that making a fist increases neuronal activity in the frontal lobe of the contralateral hemisphere of the brain.

Previous studies have indicated that stimulating key areas of the brain can improve memory as can listening to certain sounds while asleep.

The Montclair study divided participants into groups, each clenching or not clenching their fists in different patterns.

Those who clenched their right fists when memorizing a list of 72 words, and then clenched their left when recalling the words, performed best.

It’s worth remembering. Clench your right fist and reread the previous paragraph.

The study didn’t include any left-handed participants.

But for you right-handers, here’s some advice: Clench your right fist and think about Mother’s Day coming up on May 12. And the next time you’re in the card shop, clench your left.

You, and your mother, will be glad you did.

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