Researchers discover chewing gum can help you stay focused for longer on tasks that require continuous monitoring.
The new study builds on earlier investigations that discovered chewing gum can improve concentration in visual memory tasks.
In the new effort, investigators focused on the potential benefits of chewing gum during an audio memory task.
“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,” said co-study author Kate Morgan.
Researchers split 38 participants 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.
Researchers discovered 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.
Kate explained: “Interestingly, participants who didn’t chew gum performed slightly better at the beginning of the task but were overtaken by the end.
“This suggests that chewing gum helps us focus on tasks that require continuous monitoring over a longer amount of time.”
The study is found in the The British Journal of Health Psychology.
Source: Cardiff University