Fist Clenching and Memory

We generally associate fist clenching in adults with stress, anger, or frustration. Well, here’s a new twist on it. Fist clenching and memory have a positive relationship.  A study published in the Plos One journal suggests clenching your fist could play a role in how well you remember information.

Fist Clenching and Memory

Researchers recruited 51 right-handed individuals for the experiment, and asked them to squeeze a pink rubber ball for 90 seconds before they were shown a list of 36 words. They were then asked to squeeze the ball again before they wrote down as many of the words as they could remember.

The test subjects who squeezed the ball with their right hand before memorizing the list, and then squeezed it with their left hand before writing words down, performed best.

Those who squeezed the ball first with their left hand, and then with their right, or those who used just one hand, recalled fewer words.

Read more about the study here.

So it appears that the fist clenching technique can increase activity in the opposite side of the brain — and it also appears that the timing is particularly important. You’ll get the best results if you squeeze the right hand first before you tackle a learning activity and then the left hand when you go to retrieve the information. Fist clenching and memory go hand-in-hand (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

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