Stress can push a person to a level of heightened alertness and better performance, claims study.
"You always think about stress as a really bad thing, but it's not," said Daniela Kaufer, associate professor of integrative biology at the University of California-Berkeley. "Some amounts of stress are good to push you just to the level of optimal alertness, behavioural and cognitive performance."
New research by Kaufer and UC-Berkeley post-doctoral fellow Elizabeth Kirby has uncovered exactly how acute stress -- short-lived, not chronic -- primes the brain for improved performance.
"I think intermittent stressful events are probably what keeps the brain more alert, and you perform better when you are alert," she said.