Lying Down Reveals New Perspective

Here’s a bit of fun for you: people think better when they’re lying down. Or, more accurately, they’re quicker at solving anagrams in this study from the Australian National University. Why? Perhaps neurotransmitter levels are increased or perhaps blood flow to the brain is improved. Both these biological explanations are plausible but I have a psychological explanation.

When I was at University there was a guy who used to swear by a special revision method he had developed over the years. He stood on a chair and held the notes above his head: It worked for him. My explanation was that because he was putting his body into a different position, he was able to look at his revision in a new way.

Perhaps something similar is happening in this experiment – a new physical perspective grants a new mental perspective.

About the author

Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and the author of PsyBlog and His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick". You can follow PsyBlog by email, by RSS feed, on Twitter and Google+.

Published: 2 May 2005

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