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Chewing gum helps ideas – just ask Fergie

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Sunderland v Manchester United - Premier League...SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - MAY 13:  Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Manchester United at Stadium of Light on May 13, 2012 in Sunderland, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)...S

Sunderland v Manchester United - Premier League...SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - MAY 13: Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Manchester United at Stadium of Light on May 13, 2012 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)...S

Sunderland v Manchester United - Premier League...SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - MAY 13: Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Manchester United at Stadium of Light on May 13, 2012 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)...S

MANCHESTER United manager Alex Ferguson might just be onto something – chewing gum really does help you concentrate.

A NEW study has shown that Fergie's constant chewing during games could be the secret to his success.

Volunteers were tested on their ability to spot odd-even-odd sequences in lists of numbers read to them.

They were quicker and more accurate when chewing gum, researchers found.

Study author Kate Morgan, from the University of Cardiff, said: "It's been well established by previous research that chewing gum can benefit some areas of cognition.

"In our study we focused on an audio task that involved short-term memory recall to see if chewing gum would improve concentration."

The 38 volunteers were split into two groups, one of which undertook the test while chewing gum. Both performed equally well at the start of the test, but the non-chewers fell behind.

"Participants who didn't chew gum performed slightly better at the beginning of the task but were overtaken by the end," said Ms Morgan. "This suggests that chewing gum helps us focus on tasks that require continuous monitoring over a longer amount of time."

hnews@herald.ie


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