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I am doing my science fair project which is: Does chewing gum improve memory? These are my questions:1. What section of the human brain holds memory 2. What techniques improve memory? 3. Can chewing gum improve your memory? 4. How does gum stimulate the brain? 5. How can I make my project the best it can be? 6. What is your profession? Thank you
Answer 1:

1.Which section of the human brain holds memory?
Memories are stored all over the brain! There are lots of different types of memory, such as memory for events, memory for procedures, and memory for a familiar face. These different types of memory are stored in multiples locations, and often require that different parts of the brain communicate with each other to recall the memory. The brain is one big network, and for something as complex as memory it requires a lot of communication between its parts.

2.What techniques improve memory?
This depends what kind of memory you want to improve, and there are lots of different strategies. If you want to improve your memory for performing a task, then practicing the task helps a lot. If you want to improve your memory for facts, you should try to make meaningful connections between the facts you want to learn and your prior knowledge.

3. Can chewing gum improve your memory?
Great question! There is a little bit of evidence that chewing gum may help learning. There are usually two parts to a memory test: the initial learning of information, and the test. If people chew gum during learning, this may help them keep their attention on the material, and this may help them learn. It is also possible that people who chew gum during learning do better on a test if they chew gum during the test as well, but not as well if they don't chew gum during the test. It seems as though there haven't been many experiments testing this, however, so your results will be interesting!

4. How does gum stimulate the brain?
Chewing gum involves a lot of parts of the brain. The orofacial sensorimotor and promotor cortex are involved in the physical act of chewing. Chewing gum also seems to activate a fronto-parietal network that may help with processing cognitive information. (This information comes from a 2004 study entitled "A fronto-parietal network for chewing of gum: a study on human subjects with functional magnetic resonance imaging" by T. Takada and T. Miyamoto)

5. How can I make my project the best it can be?
It's very important to include proper experimental control in your experiment. That means that you should compare your gum-chewing group to a group that is as similar as possible, but without the gum. There are a few ways you could do this: 1) If you're interested in the effect of chewing versus not chewing, you could have one group chew gum and the other group do nothing, 2) If you're interested in the effect of just the gum, you could have one group chew gum and the other group make a chewing motion with no gum, or 3) If you're interested in the effect of the minty flavor of gum, you could have one group chew gum and the other group chew flavorless gum. The control group you choose depends on which question you want to ask.

6. What is your profession?
I am a Ph.D. student studying cognitive psychology.



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