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Old 25th July 2017, 10:21   #1
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Default Research: Spending >2 hours a day behind the wheel ages the brain, affects your IQ

A shocker for us all…

Came across an article that said, drive for more than 2 hours, the brain see it as a rut, repeated task, less neural activity and hence negatively impacts IQ. LINK

Quote:
The researchers that the results could be explained by the fact that the mind is less active on long car journeys.

The mammoth project saw more than half a million Britons aged 37-73 studied over a period of five years.

Researchers found that not only did this proportion of subjects typically have lower brainpower to begin with but their IQ score declined more rapidly over the course of the study than those who did little or no driving.
I could see that this particular news is covered in lot of the UK papers. Was not able to locate the scientific source.

This got me thinking, how are our racing car drivers, the rally veterans and others doing after years of driving. Shouldn’t all the focus while doing high speeds help in brain development? or are most of them forgotten in their old ages, that no one keep tracks of the majority of them.

So apparently, repetitive patterns are bad for the brain. so you know what that means, never take the same road, never drive the same way.... get into the car from the passengers side, the back.. go all out creative, to counter the whatever IQ driving kills, cuz it aint easy to stop something you cherish!
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Old 25th July 2017, 10:46   #2
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Default re: Research: Spending >2 hours a day behind the wheel ages the brain

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Originally Posted by Spinnerr View Post
Came across an article that said, drive for more than 2 hours, the brain see it as a rut, repeated task, less neural activity and hence negatively impacts IQ.
A similar article was published in today's Indian Express newspaper as well:
Link (Source:New Indian Express, Bangalore 25 July 2017)
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Old 25th July 2017, 10:53   #3
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Default re: Research: Spending >2 hours a day behind the wheel ages the brain

Looking at how people drive in our country - most Indian Tier 1 & 2 cities have very congested traffic, meaning longer commute times - I do agree with this article.

Personally, I do feel foolish the days I spend 45 min for my 8 km home-office commute.
There is absolutely no joy in driving through peak office hour traffic and here comes a double whammy of it making me dumber as well.

cheers
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Old 25th July 2017, 11:05   #4
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Default Re: More hours behind the wheel = lower IQ (Really??)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinnerr View Post
A shocker for us all…

Came across an article that said, drive for more than 2 hours, the brain see it as a rut, repeated task, less neural activity and hence negatively impacts IQ. LINK
.....
.....
Brother - driving in India (even on National Highways) is anything but a boring and repeated task. There are surprises galore every km - dogs, cattle, tractors on wrong side, crazy 2-wheelers, manic 4-wheelers, trucks with no reflectors, pedestrians jumping out of dividers, etc etc.
Also our countryside is so beautiful that (as a passenger, sometimes as a driver) I never get bored of the sights.
So I don't think this we can extrapolate the results from this UK study to our unique Indian conditions
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Old 25th July 2017, 11:09   #5
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Default re: Research: Spending >2 hours a day behind the wheel ages the brain, affects your IQ

I think it really depends on what you think when behind the wheel. Personally, some of my best ideas & thoughts are when I'm driving (for a lot of people, it's also in the shower). Good music & enjoying the car can really get you "in the zone".

Of course, this might not be applicable to long-distance truckers or taxi drivers, but we can't really generalise that 2+ hours behind the wheel is bad for you. A 45 - 60 minute one-way commute to work is standard-fare for most professionals. It's not like anyone is getting dumber by that.

There was a time when my commute from work -> home in the evening took 90 minutes. I did my best thinking in that time (end of the day, mind cleared of work etc.).

Last edited by GTO : 25th July 2017 at 11:12.
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Old 25th July 2017, 11:48   #6
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Default Re: Research: Spending >2 hours a day behind the wheel ages the brain, affects your IQ

I agree with GTO that this cannot be generalized because it depends on the roads you are driving like e.g. highways/expressway or the city. In the city limits its highly impossible to call it a repetitive and mundane task in anyway for reasons already mentioned by others. On highways too, barring the Expressways, most other do have some or the other surprises thrown at you randomly.

Also adding to it I would take these so called researches with a pinch of salt because more often than not, in the next few days you will see an exactly contrary report as well. I have personally experienced this multiple times and most of these research based study reports are from either the US or UK

OT - but extended use of mobile is also said to affect the brains. While the first generation which started using mobiles since childhood is yet to get to work but I am really not sure unless it is actually visible.
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Old 25th July 2017, 12:48   #7
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Default Re: Research: Spending >2 hours a day behind the wheel ages the brain, affects your IQ

Lowering of IQ bit looks like dubious research. However, driving in traffic for long hours is likely to be bad for health (because of stress etc).

Perhaps IQ of research subjects fell because of some other reason. Perhaps Britons are just getting dumber over time.
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Old 25th July 2017, 13:24   #8
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Default Re: Research: Spending >2 hours a day behind the wheel ages the brain, affects your IQ

I guess spending two hours behind the wheel each day ages my brain by exactly the same two hours.
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Old 25th July 2017, 13:36   #9
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Default Re: Research: Spending >2 hours a day behind the wheel ages the brain, affects your IQ

I continue to enjoy my commute to work, each day I get equally excited as any other when I crank and get to drive early morning to work through the city and then take the tolled road to return back.

I think it is all about how one sees driving ; perspectives!

Few think they need to drive to office while I think I will be in office by driving.

In fact, I stopped cribbing about this long back - Instead I am managing it by driving much before everyone else is still on bed.

Needless to say, one needs to have immense patience - And it can be extremes where you either become very patient or continue to get worse with your on-road behavior.

The other important aspect - accept it. You have chosen to drive to work to a location you have chosen to work from a location that you chose to live - No one can change this reality. So begin to learn this and drive.

I finish off a lot of promised call back when I am driving back home. Rest of the times, a patient mind helps in thinking ways out to some of the issues caught during work!

Oh I forgot: My commute is 38Kms (50 Minutes) and 58 Kms (75 Minutes) for on onward and return respectively and I am sure my IQ will be least affected even if I do these drives during regular peak hours due to the above reasons .

Last edited by paragsachania : 25th July 2017 at 13:38.
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Old 25th July 2017, 14:03   #10
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Default Re: Research: Spending >2 hours a day behind the wheel ages the brain, affects your IQ

Brain will not be inactive while doing routine tasks. It starts engaging itself in other thoughts while driving which are not related to routine task. When sense organs triggers dangerous signals (Like sudden cattle appearing in front of car), the trigger interrupts the brain activity and brain focuses on managing the unusual situation to bring to normal. The only time brain is inactive is while sleeping.

I really doubt whether the research done is really scientifically strong enough to derive the above conclusion OR is it similar to "Eating chewing Gum causes cancer" kind of research.
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Old 25th July 2017, 19:23   #11
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Default Re: Research: Spending >2 hours a day behind the wheel ages the brain, affects your IQ

I would like to believe that driving on our unique Indian roads brings out tremendous amount of creativity in us. The number of variable situations that one encounters, (and in different seasons) on a daily basis is what these researchers need to take note of. To reach place of work and back home safely every day is , I feel, a notable achievement . Let's applaud it.
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