Dehydration can affect your brain, make it tough to perform simple tasks

Dehydration,Health,Wellness

According to a recent study, dehydration alters the human brain shape and activity and even slackens task performance. A Georgia Institute of Technology study suggests that when dehydration strikes, part of the brain can swell, neural signalling can intensify, and doing monotonous tasks can get harder.

The researchers also found that even without dehydration, exertion and heat put a dent in test subjects’ performance, but water loss made the dent about twice as deep. “We wanted to tease out whether exercise and heat stress alone have an impact on your cognitive function and study the effect of dehydration on top of that,” said Mindy Millard-Stafford, the study’s principal investigator.

In the experiments, when participants exercised, sweated and drank water, fluid-filled spaces called ventricles in the centre of their brains contracted. But with exertion plus dehydration, the ventricles did the opposite; they expanded. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) revealed the differences. Oddly, the ventricle expansion in dehydrated test subjects may not have had much to do with their deeper slumps in task performance.

“The structural changes were remarkably consistent across individuals,” said Millard-Stafford. “But performance differences in the tasks could not be explained by changes in the size of those brain areas.”

“The areas in the brain required for doing the task appeared to activate more intensely than before, and also, areas lit up that were not necessarily involved in completing the task,” said the study’s first author Matt Wittbrodt. “We think the latter may be in response to the physiological state: the body signalling, ‘I’m dehydrated’.”

The task the subjects completed was mindless and repetitive. For 20 straight minutes, they were expected to punch a button every time a yellow square appeared on a monitor. Sometimes, the square appeared in a regular pattern, and sometimes it appeared randomly. The task was dull for a reason.

“It helped us to avoid the cognitive complexity behind elaborate tasks and strip cognition down to simple motor output,” Wittbrodt said. “It was designed to hit essential neural processing one would use to make straightforward, repetitive movements.” The study has been published in Physiological Reports.

[“source=hindustantimes”]

How internships can help you make a career change without any doubts

internship, career change

An internship can help you ease your worries about a career change!

A career switch can be a scary prospect – what if you cannot do well in your new job role? In such cases, an internship can come to your rescue!

Shubham had been passionate about teaching since childhood but could never muster the courage to follow it, due to his lack of confidence in public speaking. Soon, he completed his engineering degree and was placed as an analyst in a multinational company.

His job provided him with various good opportunities of getting industry exposure but he still had a persistent curiosity and interest in teaching and contemplated switching his career.

However, he wanted to take an informed decision before doing anything about it. So, he decided to explore teaching through virtual internships along with his job.

After sending in a few internship applications online, he was finally selected for a content development internship where he had to prepare video lectures based on programming concepts and other computer science subjects like theory of computation and graph theory.

By the end of the second month of his internship, he became quite popular among students and gained confidence in his teaching abilities. Now, he knew for sure that teaching was his true calling and decided to quit his job to pursue a full-time career in teaching.

Read: 10 reasons why you need an industry based internship for a successful career

A misguided career change can be an expensive mistake

Many students like Shubham, when taking the decision regarding the career path to pursue, either can’t follow their true passion due to lack of guidance or aren’t even aware of their real interests at such an early stage of their lives.

This is the reason why many of them decide to switch their careers after graduation or after a few years of doing a job. Not happy with what they are currently doing and looking for a change in their professional lives, many of them simply go for MBAs.

However, this could prove to be an expensive mistake if you do not have a perspective beforehand and later, realise that management is not your calling.

Read: 4 ways internships can help women restart their career

2 ways an internship can help you make a career switch decision easier

So, what should you do instead? Well, the answer is simple — do an internship! Why? When you decide to make a career shift, there could be two possible scenarios:

1. You have a certain career path in mind to go for but you are not really aware of what it truly holds for you.

2. You are not happy with your present line of profession but you also don’t know what profession will be most suitable for you.

In both the cases, internships can prove to be extremely helpful in making an informed career switch decision.

Career change can be a tricky business, but internships can help sort your mind!

Scenario 1

Talking about scenario one first, let’s say, you are currently working as a software developer but graphic designing fascinates you.

You quit your job and take up a graphic design position but later on find out that you don’t have the right aptitude for it and the profession isn’t congruent to your expectations. You’ll feel stuck again, right?

Here, taking up an internship would have been a wise choice because they require short-term commitment usually ranging from 1 to 6 months.

Internships let you test the waters before you take a deep dive into an entirely new professional channel. This statement stays true for both the cases.

Read: 3 reasons you should grab a summer internship at a startup

Scenario 2

Now, let’s talk about scenario two. Suppose you are doing a well-paying 9 to 5 job but your heart is not into it. You don’t enjoy your work and want to shift your career to some other profession but don’t have any direction to proceed in.

Here, internships provide you with the opportunity to explore different professions for a small period of 1-3 months. You could pursue multiple internships in various fields to get a perspective on diverse professions and experiment your way to find your true calling.

So, if you are not happy with your current line of work and wish to switch your career, do not take a rash decision and change your job or do an MBA.

Think through it, research well, and explore your options with internships as they’ll let you test your abilities and check if the new profession fulfils your expectations or not.

[“Source-indiatoday”]