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Psicological research

Chewing gum can improve your concentration

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Previous research has already found that gum chewing can boost concentration in visual memory tasks. But in a new study, Cardiff University researchers have found that it also enhances concentration in audio memory tasks.

The study published online in the British Journal of Psychology examined 38 participants who were split into two groups. Both groups completed a 30-minute audio task that involved listening to a list of numbers from one to nine that were read aloud in random order.

Kate Morgan, author of the study explained: “It’s been well established by previous research that chewing gum can benefit some areas of cognition. In our study we focussed on an audio task that involved short-term memory recall to see if chewing gum would improve concentration; especially in the latter stages of the task.”

The study involved 38 participants being split in to two groups. Both groups completed a 30 minute audio task that involved listening to a list of numbers from 1-9 being read out in a random manner. Participants were scored on how accurately and quickly they were able to detect a sequence of odd-even-odd numbers, such as 7-2-1. Participants also completed questionnaires on their mood both before and after the task.

The results showed that participants who chewed gum had quicker reaction times and more accurate results than the participants who didn’t chew gum. This was especially the case towards the latter parts of the task.

However, another Cardiff University study last year found that chewing gum can impair short-term memory, which challenged previous studies that have concluded otherwise. But the researchers issued a caveat with their results, saying that flavored gum could possibly cancel out the negative impact on memory loss.

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