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Heat Waves Make You Dumb, According To Harvard University

By Anna Quintana

No, it's not just your imagination. Chances are you are experiencing a heat wave right now – and feeling a bit slower than usual. Well, extreme temperatures actually make people dumber, according to Harvard University. A new study just found that a person's brain works 13 times slower when it has to operate in scorching heat. 

Scientists studied 44 college students living in Boston during the 2016 heat wave. Half the participants lived in a dorm with no air-conditioning (those poor souls) while the other 22 lived in air-conditioned buildings during a 12-day period. According to the report published in PLOS Medicine, those living in the dorms without AC performed 13 percent worse on math and memory tests compared to their cooler classmates. If this doesn't make you want to hug your air-conditioner, we don't know what will. 

"Most of the research on the health effects of heat has been done in vulnerable populations, such as the elderly, creating the perception that the general population is not at risk from heat waves," lead author Jose Guillermo Cedeño-Lauren said in a press release. "Knowing what the risks are across different populations is critical considering that in many cities… the number of heat waves is projected to increase due to climate change."