Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Chewing gum 'aids concentration'

Chewing gum helps people concentrate, a University of Cardiff study found

Chewing gum really does help you concentrate, a new study has shown.

Volunteers were tested on their ability to spot odd-even-odd sequences in lists of numbers which were randomly read to them.

They were quicker and more accurate at the task when chewing gum, researchers found.

Study author Kate Morgan, from the University of Cardiff, said: "It's been well established by previous research that chewing gum can benefit some areas of cognition.

"In our study we focused 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 38 volunteers were split into two groups, one of which undertook the test while chewing gum. Both performed equally well at the start of the test, but then the non-chewers fell behind.

"Interestingly, participants who didn't chew gum performed slightly better at the beginning of the task but were overtaken by the end," said Ms Morgan. "This suggests that chewing gum helps us focus on tasks that require continuous monitoring over a longer amount of time."

The findings appear in the British Journal of Psychology.

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