1. Split Decisions
Ever walk into a room and forget why you came? Blame the doorway. University of Notre Dame researchers have shown that doorways serve as "event boundaries": Because the brain associates certain memories of events with locations, entering a new room can make it hard to recall a decision you came to in the one you just left.
2. Dress the Part to Act Smart
In a study at Northwestern University, researchers had subjects wear white coats while performing a test that measured attention. One group was told they had on doctors' coats; the other, painters' coats. Subjects in the first group outperformed those in the second by nearly 30 percent, suggesting that the effect our clothes have on us may be even more powerful than we thought.
3. Memory Makeover
The Pill might change how your memory works when you're emotional, say UC Irvine researchers. When they tested how well female subjects remembered a story about a family in a car crash, the women who were taking hormonal contraceptives homed in on the plotline (which is similar to how men recall stories), while those not on the Pill were better at retaining the narrative's details (from the presence of parked cars near the crash site to what the hospital looked like).
Next: The Brain Diet