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Life Lessons: Dumbing us down

By Nancy Werteen, Anchor / Reporter, NWerteen@wfmz.com
Published On: May 09 2013 04:00:00 AM CDT

New research says technology might be helping us in some ways but hurting us in others.

Smartphones allow us to listen to music, check our email, browse the Internet, and even track our daily calorie intake, but are we really any smarter because of them?

New research says all that technology might be helping us in some ways but hurting us in others.

The University of Texas at Dallas says multi-tasking rewires the brain, robs us of frontal lobe brainpower, and reduces our ability to make good decisions.

And the researchers say that's not all that is robbing us of brain power.

Better think twice before drinking that soda!

The average American consumes 35-pounds of high-fructose corn syrup a year. A study at UCLA found a steady diet of high-fructose can alter the brain's memory and ability to learn in as little as six weeks.

A walk in the park or a walk down a busy city sidewalk: which one of these can make you dumber?

In a large-scale study at the University of Michigan, people who walk through the city had worse memory, poor attention, and learning problems.

So why does walking in the city make us dumber? Stress!

According to a Yale University study, stressful situations can reduce the number of connections between neurons in the brain and can impair your ability to manage stressful events.

On the plus side, behavioral therapy such as meditation or yoga can help repair the damage.