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Insights:Thinking Really is Exhausting

September 6, 2022

As a full-service digital and traditional marketing firm we’re always thinking about how we can help our clients succeed.  Thinking about new marketing strategies, thinking about the best media choices, thinking about creative and unexpected ways to share our clients’ stories, basically thinking hard all day (and often night) long. It’s what we do and what we love, but sometimes when it’s time to go home we feel like we’ve just run a marathon, which is kind of strange since a lot of that thinking took place statically sitting at a desk.

Enter two Paris-based neuroscientists who have obviously given a lot of thought to why thinking can be so exhausting. They put their theory to the test by creating two subject groups. One group was given tasks that required serious focus and memorization for six hours. The other group was given mentally easier tasks for the same time period.

The group that performed the more difficult cognitive tasks showed considerably more fatigue than the easy task group. The neuroscientists then showed how those who worked harder and were more tired had elevated levels of glutamate, an amino acid, in their brains.  

Glutamate is a type of excitatory neurotransmitter that stimulates nerves and keeps the brain cells firing at high levels which it now appears can translate into physical exhaustion.

Now that these neuroscientists believe they have identified the cause of “thinking yourself exhausted” their recommended solution may be a bit of a letdown – take some breaks when you’re thinking hard and get a good night’s sleep. Not exactly a breakthrough solution, but good advice for life in general.

If you’d like to work with a marketing team that won’t let a little extra glutamate slow us down, give Insight a call at 605-275-0011 or send us an email. One last thing for you to think over, glutamate is also found in the popular Chinese food ingredient, monosodium glutamate better known as MSG.

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