School & District Management

Gum-Chewing to the Test

By Anthony Rebora — December 13, 2011 1 min read

A new study reports that college students who chewed gum prior to taking a test exhibited improved memory function and performed better than their non-gum-chewing counterparts. The theory behind this, according to one of the study’s authors, is that the chewing motion improves blood flow to the brain.

Ready to break out the Bazooka in class? Well, there are—as usual—some caveats. Apparently, the cognitive-enhancing effects only last for 15-20 minutes after the gum is chewed. And prolonged chewing—for example, throughout the testing period—seems to negate the benefits as well (because, curiously, it requires extra brain power).

So you may need to experiment with the timing, or—more prudently—await further gum-related studies. (We’ll keep an eye out.)

HT: ASCD.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.