The Cognition Regeneration Season 10, Episode 22 -  Aired April 27, 2017

The Cognition Regeneration

Fearing his mind is not a strong as it once was, Sheldon decides to improve his cognitive function by learning new tasks including baking, juggling and riding the unicycle.

Meanwhile, Leonard is not impressed when Penny is offered a job by her ex-boyfriend, Zack.

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Guest Stars: Brian Thomas Smith as Zack

Writers: Steve Holland (Story), Tara Hernandez (Story), Jeremy Howe (Story), Dave Goetsch (Teleplay), Eric Kaplan (Teleplay), Jim Reynolds (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 12.52 million Households Rating: 8/14 Adults 18-49 Rating: 2.6/11

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to Sheldon's attempts to improve his brain function by performing new activities.

Episode Quotes

Sheldon: Physicist, baker, lover, what can't I do?

Penny: I didn't know you could drink while you were breastfeeding.
Bernadette: Yeah, they say the yeast in beer helps with milk production.
Amy: I'm pretty sure that's a myth. Let me check.
Bernadette: Ruin it for me, and I'll break this glass over your head.

Penny: You want food?
Bernadette: Yeah, breastfeeding burns, like, 5,000 calories a day. (To Amy) Do not touch that phone!

Penny: Uh, what's new?
Zack: Oh, tons of stuff. Put artificial grass in my backyard, got engaged, had a scary mole that turned out to be Sharpie.
Penny: Well, congratulations.
Zack: That's what my dermatologist said.
Penny: No, on getting engaged, good for you.
Zack: Oh, thanks.

Sheldon: I started doing some reading on cognitive vitality, and I came across an area of research called "super-aging."
Raj: You know who's a super-ager? Jennifer Lopez. Like, what is her secret?

News Stories

Title Date Posted
1022 'The Cognition Regeneration' Press Release April 20, 2017

CBS has issued the press release for the next episode of The Big Bang Theory, "The Cognition Regeneration", which airs Thursday, April 27. Brian Thomas Smith returns as Penny's ex-boyfriend, Zack, in the episode.  Full story


In the apartment, the guys are playing a multiplayer video game together and fear they’re about to lose the game. When the guys call on Sheldon to come to their defense, he tries to shoot his gun but keeps pressing the jump button by mistake. After their characters are all killed, Sheldon wonders what happened to him; he used to excel at video games. Sheldon comes to the realization he’s no longer the wunderkind he once was.

As the girls enjoy a night out, Penny is surprised that Bernadette can drink while breastfeeding. When Bernadette says the yeast helps with milk production, Amy thinks that’s a myth, but Bernadette warns Amy not to ruin it for her. When Penny goes to the bar to order drinks and food, she runs into her ex-boyfriend Zack. As they catch up, Penny learns that Zack is now engaged. Zack invites Penny and Leonard to dinner with his fiancée.

As the guys shop at the comic book store, Sheldon says he’s been thinking about their recent humiliation in the videogame. Sheldon tells the guys he’s been reading about cognitive vitality and he came across an area of research called “super aging” which posits that by performing difficult mental tasks, you can actually improve the structure of your brain. When Leonard wonders how it’s different to doing crossword puzzles, Sheldon says it’s not about doing simple cognitive tasks but about pushing your brain out of its comfort zone and to the point of exhaustion.

When Penny comes into the living room, she asks if Leonard is ready to go. Leonard admits he is not excited about spending an evening with Penny’s ex Zack. Later, at the bar, Zack tells Leonard and Penny that his fiancée couldn’t make it. Elsewhere, Amy arrives home to find Raj teaching Sheldon how to make croissants. When Sheldon and Raj taste the results they’re great, but Sheldon is disappointed that the task came so easily to him.

Back at the bar, Zack talks to Leonard about his work on the government project over dinner. When Zack asks about Penny about her pharmaceuticals job, Penny admits she’s not crazy about parts of her job. Zack mentions that he’s got an opening in his company and offers her the job as head of sales. Meanwhile, Howard goes into his kitchen with a large box for Sheldon. Howard is going to teach some of his magic tricks to to Sheldon, who doesn’t care what he learns so long as it’s challenging. When Howard starts with close-up magic, Sheldon is not interested. Instead, Howard shows Sheldon how to juggle.

As Penny drives Leonard back from dinner with Zack, she says it wasn’t so bad - Zack even picked up the bill. After Leonard questions whether Penny is seriously considering working for him, she says the job seems perfect for her as she has both sales and restaurant experience. Penny wonders if Leonard is jealous of her working with Zack, accusing him of wanting her to stay at a job she’s unhappy with. Leonard tells her that working for an ex-boyfriend just isn’t very smart.

When Amy arrives home, Sheldon is on a unicycle in the apartment - holding on to a rope he’s installed across the room. When Amy is about to leave Sheldon to it, he tells her he needs her help to dismount. Meanwhile, in the apartment, Leonard is talking to Howard and Raj at the kitchen table. Howard can’t believe Leonard told Penny she was being dumb. Meanwhile, Penny is talking with Bernadette in her kitchen. Penny insists there’s no reason for Leonard to feel threatened since Zack is engaged. Howard tells Leonard he thinks it’s fine if Penny works for Zack; while Bernadette tells Penny she wouldn’t let Howard work for an ex. When Howard comes around to Leonard’s side, Raj disagrees and warns Leonard that Penny’s a strong, independent woman who will push back if he tries to stop her from taking the job.

When Amy returns to the living room, she finds Sheldon sitting down after boxing up Howard’s stuff. After telling her he’s returning the items to Howard, Sheldon says learning the unicycle was dumb. When Amy suggests that Sheldon is just giving up because the tasks were difficult, Sheldon gets up and leaves. Elsewhere, when Penny returns to Apartment 4A, she asks if Leonard wants to talk. Penny says she understands this job would make Leonard feel uncomfortable. Leonard tells her he doesn't want her stuck at a job she doesn't like, so he says if she wants to take the job, he’ll find a way to deal with it. Penny says no to the idea as it would make them both miserable, so she’ll stay where she’s at. When Leonard says now he feels like he’s being selfish and holding her back, Penny doesn’t disagree.

In their bedroom, Amy takes Sheldon a cup of tea. After he explains that he’s reading an article that says the peak age for making a Nobel prize discovery is 40, Amy insists Sheldon is a brilliant man whose best years are ahead. Amy suggests that if Sheldon is really worried about his career, he could spend a little less time on comic books and video games, but Sheldon gives the idea short shrift. Changing tacks, Amy asks him if it would be so bad if he never made a breakthrough discovery and instead spent his life doing solid, dependable research, surrounded by friends and loved ones who appreciate him. Sheldon thinks she’s cute and announces that he’s going to go learn how to walk on stilts.

In their kitchen, Penny holds the telephone as she asks Leonard if he’s sure about this. When Leonard confirms he is, Penny phones Zack to talk about the job. Zack admits there is no job offer as his fiancée didn’t like the idea. After finishing the phone call with Zack, Penny tell Leonard he was right.

When Bernadette goes into her kitchen, she is surprised to find Howard is home. After she asks where he’s been, he says he went to her mother’s house. Because Bernadette made fun of his hobbies, he wondered what she was interested in as a kid. When Howard pulls out a small blonde ventriloquist dummy, Bernadette tells him she didn’t want to be a ventriloquist but she needed a hobby for the beauty pageants she entered as a child. Bernadette introduces Howard to “Tammy Jo St. Cloud”, who starts to make fun of Howard. Howard is freaked out by Bernadette and her dummy and quickly gets out of the kitchen.

Outside, Sheldon can’t believe he’s doing as he walks down the street on stilts. Then, he wakes up in bed with Amy.