brain power

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Find the Right Coffee Shop
A University of Illinois study found that thinkers were better at coming up with creative solutions when working in a somewhat noisy space than in a quiet room. A certain level of background noise is distracting enough to nudge a stymied brain to think more abstractly—which enhances creativity, the researchers discovered.

Try this: Leave your quiet comfort zone when stumped. The place you settle in must be energetic, but not too loud. The cognitive sweet spot is about 70 decibels, the noise level of a busy café. (A plus: The caffeine you’ll drink will speed you up and help you recall information better. Add sugar to enhance the effects.)