Brain training could help the heartbroken get over an ex, according to a neuroscientist at Cambridge University.
Barbara Sahakian is currently looking at ways to use computerised brain-training tests to help people learn more self-control, and act less impulsively.
The professor of clinical neuropsychology says this training could help singles get over lost love by teaching the brain to resist the urge to do things like texting an ex.
Sahakian told the Guardian: “The frontal lobes exert control in many different situations, whether in a brain-training task or in stopping people ruminating on lost love.
“It’s like exercising a muscle and it might stop someone who is heartbroken from repeatedly texting their ex-partner. The brain would have the tools to put a stop to that.”
The test asks people to press a button when they see different arrows appear on the screen, then stop when a buzzer sounds.
Sahakian, who is the author of a book called Sex, Lies and Brain Scans, is currently using the tests as a way of stopping compulsive behaviours among people with mental health.
But the neuroscientist believes the same tests could help the lovelorn, whose actions can mirror this compulsive behaviour.
The Cambridge University professor said: “The thing about love is that it can affect the wrong systems in the brain.
“People can become quite compulsive about it all, which is important if you are going to marry someone and have children with them, so need strong feelings.
“However, if that person does not love you any more or has gone off with someone else, that becomes maladaptive.”
Sahakian’s comments were made at the Cheltenham Science Festival, where she was promoting her book Sex, Lies and Brain Scans.
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