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Wanna Be Smarter Than Your Friends? Press a Smart Drink Against Your Head.

Would you like to be smarter than your friends? Outperform your coworkers? Leave women swooning at the sharpness of your wit, your ability to remain forever “on” in social settings? And while you’re at it, would you like a wonderfully … Read More

By / July 16, 2007

Would you like to be smarter than your friends? Outperform your coworkers? Leave women swooning at the sharpness of your wit, your ability to remain forever “on” in social settings? And while you’re at it, would you like a wonderfully simple explanation for European dominance of world affairs? A convenient way to understand the workings of the brain in familiar computer-speak?

Evolutionary psychology at your service. All this can be revealed to you through the study of why humans yawn:


Yawning is not contagious for those with cooler brains

Fifty per cent of people told to breathe normally or through their mouths yawned while watching other people yawn, while none of those told to breathe through their noses yawned. The researchers also found that subjects who held a cold pack to their forehead did not catch yawns from the film, while those who held a warm or room-temperature pack yawned normally (Evolutionary Psychology, vol 5, p 92).

Breathing through your nose cools blood flowing to the brain. Would breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth do a better job of cooling the brain by venting the warmer air from the lungs away from the nose and brain? Yawning supposedly increases group vigilance. Our hunter ancestors either on stake-out or perhaps manning defense perimeters around camps might have needed to yawn in unison to keep their minds alert to prey or predators. Cooling overheated brains increases their efficiency and hence the yawns. Has the need to dissipate heat slowed the evolution of human intelligence just as heat dissipation problems are slowing the rate of advance of modern computer microprocessor speeds? These results suggest easy practical ways to boost mental performance:

  1. Turn down office thermostats in summer and winter so that people wear sweaters to keep their torsos warm while keeping their brains cool. Higher mental performance might more than pay back the higher cost of air conditioning in summers. During winters the lower thermostats will save money too.
  2. A cold pack worn on your forehead might boost your mental performance when you are lagging. But how cold is optimal?
  3. When you feel like yawning do not suppress it. In fact, when you feel the slightest desire to yawn you might want to take steps to cool your brain.
  4. Got a cold drink in your hand and your brain lagging? Put the drink up against your forehead.

Fabulous.

Of course, the authors themselves never even remotely suggest that “cool brains” explain anything about European successes vis-à-vis other cultures. But the great Kurtzini has had one of those visions again, and in this vision I saw a White nationalist website, and on the website it said something like “you see, the brain works better when cool—like a computer, really, and so yawning works just like the fan over a microprocessor’s heat sink. And so it’s reasonable to suppose that people from colder northern climes had an evolutionary/cognitive advantage over people from the tropics or the South. Our brains could run fast because northern chilliness allowed it…northern chill was like a giant heat sink for our brains! Try to think that hard in the South, and your brain’d overheat!”

The vision will be fulfilled in the next six months.

Meanwhile, in other news, researchers have determined that most people have brown hair so that our monkey ancestors could hide amongst the coconuts.

 

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