Hot waves make us dumb!

My brother and I

We all love summer!

If we can go to the sea, or the ocean, or hiking.

Summer in Berlin

But when we are students or workers summer is not so great.

I remember the years of University when I was forced to study for exams during summer in Italy and without A/C!

I recently discovered a paper from 2018 stating that heat waves can make us dumb(er).

Here come the details:

Jose Guillermo Cedeño Laurent and collaborators from Harvard studied the cognitive function during a heat wave of 2016 among 44 young adults. Cognitive performances of 22 students living in buildings without A/C were compared to the ones of other 22 students living in buildings with A/C.

Students living in buildings without A/C answered the questions slower and in a less accurate way. The difference in terms of cognitive performance was of 13%.

Climate change is causing an increase in the Earth temperature, and unpredictable atmospheric events, including, but not limited to, heat waves.

This study suggests that cognitive deficits due to heat waves could have a major impact on the educational sector, on economic productivity and workplace safety.

Reference:

Cedeño Laurent et al., “Reduced cognitive function during a heat wave among residents of non-air-conditioned buildings: An observational study of young adults in the summer of 2016”, (2018), https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002605

Published by Martina Bodner

Biotechnologist, PhD Candidate in Food Chemistry, Science Teacher, STEM and autism advocate, mother.

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