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Having a hard time with social distancing? Blame your brain

Research by the University of California indicates a person's working memory plays a key role in how well they're able to socially distance from other people.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Social distancing has become the norm during the coronavirus pandemic and new research suggests some people are just naturally better at it than others.

If you've been having trouble keeping six feet between you and other people, your brain may be to blame, according to one study. Researchers at the University of California-Riverside, your working memory plays a key role in your ability to practice social distancing. The working memory is the brain's ability to hold onto information for a brief period of time. 

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Research indicates people with a higher working memory are more likely to distance themselves from others. Experts say this is because social distancing as the new normal requires an intentional decision process, tapping directly into your memory. 

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Researchers say the act of social distancing will become more habitual for many people but it won't happen overnight. So if you've been struggling to keep that six-foot distance, you're going to have to put a little mental persistence into your routine.

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