Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Want to be Smarter? Chew Gum

A study examined the effects of the timing of gum chewing on cognitive function. Chewing gum was associated with performance advantages on multiple measures when gum was chewed for 5 minutes before, but not during, cognitive testing. Benefits last for the first 15-20 minutes of the test, and are limited to cognitive domains.

Time-limited benefit can be attributed to "mastication-induced arousal." Lack of improvement in cognitive function when gum is chewed throughout testing may be because of an "interference effect" of sharing of resources between cognitive and masticatory processes - meaning its hard to chew gum and think at the same time.