Silence Helps Grow New Cells In Our Brains According To Scientists!

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In modern life, we are surrounded by noise all the time. Voices accompany us at home, on the road, at work, at school, and we don't care too much about creating quiet moments for ourselves. But the work done proves that silence is much more beneficial for us than we thought it was.


The research started in 2013 with the experiments done on mice.

The study, which was published in the journal Brain, Structure and Function, used differed types of noise and silence and monitored the effect the sound and silence had on the brains of the mice. The silence was intended to be the control in the study but what they found was surprising. The scientists discovered that when the mice were exposed to two hours of silence per day they developed new cells in the hippocampus.

The hippocampus is a region of the brain associated with memory, emotion, and learning.

The growth of new cells in the brain does not necessarily translate into tangible health benefits. However, in this instance, researcher Imke Kirste says that the cells appeared to become functioning neurons.

“We saw that silence is really helping the newly generated cells to differentiate into neurons, and integrate into the system.”

The brain is actively internalizing and evaluating information during silence.

A 2001 study defined a “default mode” of brain function that showed that even when the brain was “resting” it was perpetually active internalizing and evaluating information. Follow-up research found that the default mode is also used during the process of self-reflection. When the brain rests it is able to integrate internal and external information into “a conscious workspace.”

When you are not distracted by noise or goal-orientated tasks, there appears to be a quiet time that allows your conscious workspace to process things.

During these periods of silence, your brain has the freedom it needs to discover its place in your internal and external world. The default mode helps you think about profound things in an imaginative way.

Noise can have a pronounced physical effect on our brains resulting in elevated levels of stress hormones.

The sound waves reach the brain as electrical signals via the ear. The body reacts to these signals even if it is sleeping. It is thought that the amygdala (located in the temporal lobes of the brain), which is associated with memory formation and emotion, is activated and this causes a release of stress hormones. If you live in a consistently noisy environment then you are likely to experience chronically elevated levels of stress hormones.

Silence seems to have the opposite effect of the brain to noise.

While noise may cause stress and tension, silence releases tension in the brain and body. A study published in the journal Heart discovered that two minutes of silence can prove to be even more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music.

Silence replenishes our cognitive resources.

It has been found that noise harms task performance at work and school. It can also be the cause of decreased motivation and an increase in error making.  The cognitive functions most strongly affected by noise are reading attention, memory, and problem-solving. But it's not all bad news. It is possible for the brain to restore its finite cognitive resources. According to the attention restoration theory when you are in an environment with lower levels of sensory input the brain can ‘recover’ some of its cognitive abilities.

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