A bacterium in soil called M. vaccae may be a cognitive enhancer
, found a study published in Behavioural Processes
. After mice ate a peanut-butter-flavored dose of the bug, they navigated mazes twice as fast as those not treated. Turns out, M. vaccae
are among the gut bacteria that trigger a rise in serotonin—which not only calms us but also boosts memory and concentration. (For mice, the "superbrain" effect lasted for at least a week after the last exposure.) We inhale and ingest this microbe when we're around dirt and plants; to what extent might it help us
navigate life's mazes? Stay tuned.