Fist-clenching can help spark memory

Researchers surmise that right-hand clenching "increases the neuronal

Researchers surmise that right-hand clenching "increases the neuronal activity" of the left frontal lobe, the part of the brain crucial to comprehending and retaining spoken language. (Credit: iStock)

Fighting to improve your memory? Put up your dukes.

Researchers in Australia told subjects in a study to clench their right hands as they were being given 72 random words to remember and then to clench their left hands as they were trying to recall the information. The result: The fist-clenchers did slightly better than people in a control group who didn't clench their fists.

Researchers surmise that right-hand clenching "increases the neuronal activity" of the left frontal lobe, the part of the brain crucial to comprehending and retaining spoken language. Similarly, left-hand clenching stimulates the right frontal lobe, which researchers believe helps spark memory.

While researchers noted that more studies are necessary, they said the findings offered "the exciting possibility" that hand-clenching may help adults better retain and recall information.

The study was published last month in the online journal PLOS One.

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