Gummy Memory

Octopus Tangle

Got worms?  Chew gum!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Wrigley’s: it’s not just for fresh breath anymore.  University of Reading researchers suggest chewing gum is also a good prescription for earworms.  You know, those annoying song snippets that play over and over in our heads.  

In this study, participants listened to catchy music while chewing or not chewing gum.  They first were asked not to think about the music, then to think about it.  It turns out that chewing gum impaired their short term memory.  In this instance, it affected their ability to remember the music.

Study subjects were also asked to listen to music while tapping their fingers. Results?  Tapping fingers was less effective than chewing gum at suppressing the memory of the music.  There's just something special about gum chewing.

Especially if you’re blonde twins riding a tandem bike.  “A double pleasure’s waiting for you!”  Oh no!  Ear worm!

Listen now.