Wait, what does gum do again?
Having trouble remembering phone numbers or a professorís lecture? Try spitting out your chewing gum.
A new British study suggests that chewing flavorless gum can interfere with short-term memory. The research challenges the prevailing notion that chewing gum, at least when itís flavored, is a performance enhancer that can boost brain power. It also provides further proof that people are woefully inept at completing two tasks at once.
Some argue that gum improves concentration by triggering a hike in blood flow through the brain, said the lead author at Cardiff University. But the team found that an oral activity such as gum chewing can interfere with the process normally used to remember verbal content.
Flavor is what may contribute to the benefits of gum chewing. In a 2002 study, those who chewed mint gum performed better on short-term word and memory tasks than those who did not chew.