Having sex makes you smarter, a study suggests.

London - It gives night classes a whole new meaning. Having sex makes you smarter, a study suggests.

Rats were found to make more new brain cells after mating.

And frequent sexual activity was also credited with increased brainpower.

However, the benefits to the brain were lost if the creatures stopped mating, the US researchers found.

A second study suggested that having sex counteracts the effect of stress on the brain – at least in mice.

However, while having sex may make you smarter, the converse is not necessarily true. The Atlantic website reports: “Being smarter does not necessarily mean you’ll have more sex. Smarter teens, in fact, tend to delay the initiation of their coital activities.”

Unfortunately, simply making new brain cells may not be enough to stay smart, and the dream of getting smarter through sex could be just an alluring fantasy

Psychologist Tracey Shors from Rutgers University in New Jersey said while many activities can increase the rate at which new brain cells are born, hard work is needed if these cells are to survive.

“You can make new cells with exercise, Prozac and sex,” she told a Society for Neuroscience conference. “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.”