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Gloomy days ’good for brain’

world Updated: Apr 20, 2009 01:00 IST
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Every cloud seems to really have a silver lining, for a new study has claimed that gloomy days are good for the brain.

An international team has carried out the study and found that while wet weather makes people feel gloomy, it also sharpens the memory and improves recall power -- while those who feel good as it’s sunny are able to remember less well.

“It seems counter-intuitive but a little bit of sadness is a good thing. People performed much better on our memory test when the weather was unpleasant and they’re in a slightly negative mood. On bright sunny days, when they were more likely to be happy and carefree, they flunked it,” Prof Joe Forgas, who led the study, was quoted by the ‘Daily Mail´.

For their study, the researchers at the University of New South Wales School of Psychology carried out tests on on shoppers at a store in Sydney.

They randomly placed ten small ornamental objects on the check-out counter, which included plastic animal figures, a toy cannon, a pink piggy bank and four small matchbox-sized vehicles, including a red London bus and a tractor.

On rainy days, sad music was played in the store including requiems or slow pieces by Chopin. And, when it was bright and sunny, customers heard cheery music such as Bizet’s Carmen and Gilbert and Sullivan tunes.