Neuroimaging study suggests mental fatigue helps preserve the chemical integrity of the brain

Strenuous cognitive work leads to an accumulation of glutamate in the prefrontal cortex, according to new research published in the journal Current Biology01111-3). The new findings suggest that mental fatigue is a neuropsychological mechanism that helps to avert the build up of potentially toxic byproducts of prolonged cognitive activity. “Nobody knows what mental fatigue is, how it is generated and why we feel it,” said study author Antonius Wiehler, a member of the Motivation, Brain and Behavior Lab at Pitié Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris. “It has remained a mystery despite more than a centu...