What Happens To Our Brain When We Mix Coffee And Books?

What Happens To Our Brain When We Mix Coffee And Books?

Sunny afternoon in Miami. On the street, the wind moves the palm trees on the avenue. But Ana doesn't flinch.

With a cup of coffee in one hand and the latest novel from her favorite writer in the other, she's stuck to her chair, caught up in the most important moment of the story. More and more Miami residents are passing the hours in a 'reading bar', which has become quite fashionable in the city lately.


What the customers who frequent these establishments are probably unaware of, is the effect of combining coffee with books on the human brain.


colored coffee mug next to some glasses over an open book


Neuroscience does have some idea. To begin with, experts in the functioning of the brain have detected that there are certain structures of the brain that are transformed when we read. The connections of the neurons of the left temporal lobe, linked to language, and those of the central sulcus of the brain, related to physical sensations and movement, increase after reading, according to a study reported in the specialized journal 'Brain Connectivity'.


In addition, reading fiction makes our thinking more creative and less rigid, which helps us make better decisions and have a clearer mind, according to recent research from the University of Toronto (Canada). Furthermore, reading promotes the growth of brain wiring (the 'white matter') that allows communication between different areas of the brain. Not to mention that another study published in 'Psychological Science' suggested that devouring the works of Frank Kafka and other authors creates new brain patterns that make us more intelligent. Borges was absolutely right when he said that "One is not what one is by what one writes, but by what one has read".


young woman reading a book and cup of coffee on a desk


If you sip a cup of coffee while you devour stories, the changes in your head increase. To begin with, because it stimulates the synthesis of dopamine in the brain, a neurotransmitter that improves our mood and that several neuroscientific studies link to creativity, euphoria and impulsivity. Also, recent research from the London School of Tropical Medicine suggested that caffeine reduces the number of mistakes we make and improves our reasoning capacity and attention.


What's more, the black brew also makes you a more demanding reader. Not surprisingly, according to a study by Tufts University (USA), the caffeine it contains increases the brain's ability to identify grammatical errors during the rapid reading of a page written in our own language. If sweetened with sugar, coffee prolongs attention, learning capacity and verbal memory, according to recent findings by researchers at the University of Barcelona.

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