The University of Maryland study found that rats developed more brain cells after mating, and that when sexual activity was stopped, their brain improvements were lost.

Psychologist Tracey Shores explained at a Neuroscience conference that hard work must be maintained if the newly-developed brain cells are to survive.

She said: “You can make new cells with exercise, Prozac and sex. If you do mental training, you’ll keep alive more of the cells you produced. And if you do both, now you have the best of both worlds – you’re making more cells and keeping more alive.”

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