Temperature Affects Working Memory

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Working memory is used to perform everyday tasks such as giving directions or remembering a telephone number.

Researchers from the Leiden University investigated how a persons’ preferred temperature affected their working memory. The study divided people into two groups based on whether they preferred warm or cool environments. They then carried out a test of working memory at different temperatures, called the N-back-task, which is a continuous performance task that is commonly used as an assessment in cognitive neuroscience.

They found that participants who worked at their preferred temperatures had better performances as it reduces ego depletion (self control after an exhausting task) and frees up energy needed for doing mental tasks.