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  • 12/11/2011

Chewing gum boosts test scores

chewing gum

Researchers at St. Lawrence University have found that chewing gum for five minutes before taking a test will improve people’s performance.

According to previous findings any type of physical activity before taking an exam can improve test performance. A new study published in the journal appetite, however, says mild activities like chewing gum may also be helpful.

Serge Onyper and colleagues compared the effects of chewing gum before or during various testing situations in 80 undergraduate students.

A “battery of cognitive tasks”‌ was given to participants, who chewed gum either prior to or throughout testing. Their performance was then compared with subjects who did not chew gum.

The study results showed that kids who chewed gum for five minutes before a test got better scores on average compared to peers who didn’ t.

Scientists believe the benefits of chewing gum were resulted from an effect called “mastication-induced arousal”‌ of the brain which acts similarly to a mild physical activity or exercise.

Chewing during the test, however, was found to have an opposite effect because it distracted the brain from its main task, disturbing concentration and thinking.

This may be due to “a sharing of resources by cognitive and masticatory processes,”‌ experts say.

The study also showed that the chewing effect could just last for 15 to 20 minutes after the beginning of the test.

So the best advice for students would be to study hard, eat healthy, sleep well, and move their body or at least their jaw before taking exams.

Source: presstv.com

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