The scientists couldn’t say exactly why our brains work differently in different seasons, but suggested that more basic tasks, like attention, could be related to environmental changes, like day length, while more complicated tasks could be tied to more complex causes, like social interactions. Obviously, more research needs to be done.
Mood and cognitive function aren’t the only things scientists have linked to the seasons. Studies show that our metabolism slows down in the winter (yes, you are sort of hibernating!). And a study found that our immune systems may respond differently to the seasons, while another small study found that we may see colors differently throughout the year.
The Belgian study doesn’t mean we pay more attention in the summer or we’re less forgetful in the fall, but it does shed a bit more light on how our brains work—and it could eventually help scientists better understand conditions like seasonal affective disorder. We’ll raise a hot cocoa to that!
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