Interacting with women can sometimes seem like a mind-boggling quest for understand, and new research from the Netherlands might have figured out why being around females can make a male feel dumb.

For the study, researchers recruited 71 university students and asked each to complete a series of simple tasks that measured cognitive ability. Both male and female were told they would be observed by someone of the opposite sex. Although the male students had no idea what the female observer looked or sounded like, their cognitive performance dropped roughly 14%; female students ended up actually performing better when told they were being watched by a man.

On theory on why male participants performed less well was perhaps due to their cognitive resources being depleted as they prepared for the upcoming interaction (thinking of what to say to the interaction partner, figuring out how they can make a good impression).

This is known as “impression management” or 'trying to seem cool' and can take a toll on your intellectual muscles. Past studies have even shown that you become even dumber if the woman is extremely attractive.

To avoid this biological brain block, experts recommend eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet to provide healthy glucose to fuel your mental muscles. Remember, self-confidence is also your greatest asset when it comes to impressing the opposite sex, so you can't get her attention unless your brain is running at full strength.