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Stress can boost mental alertness

New Delhi, Wed, 17 Apr 2013 NI Wire

A recent study led by a group of researchers has claimed that stress is not that bad as it can enhance the level of alertness and performance.

"You always think about stress as a really bad thing, but it's not," said Daniela Kaufer, associate professor of integrative biology at the University of California-Berkeley. "Some amounts of stress are good to push you just to the level of optimal alertness, behavioural and cognitive performance."

The recent research by Kaufer and UC-Berkeley post-doctoral fellow Elizabeth Kirby has revealed exactly how acute stress, only short-lived, not chronic triggers the brain for improved performance.

While studying on rats, the researchers found that significant, but brief stressful events caused stem cells in their brains to propagate into new nerve cells that, when becomes mature in two weeks, enhanced the rats' mental performance, reports Science Daily.

"I think intermittent stressful events are probably what keeps the brain more alert, and you perform better when you are alert," she said.

-With inputs from IANS


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