Chewing gum and context-dependent memory: the independent roles of chewing gum and mint flavour

Br J Psychol. 2008 May;99(Pt 2):293-306. doi: 10.1348/000712607X228474. Epub 2007 Jul 24.


Two experiments independently investigated the basis of the chewing gum induced context-dependent memory effect. At learning and/or recall, participants either chewed flavourless gum (Experiment 1) or received mint-flavoured strips (Experiment 2). No context-dependent memory effect was found with either flavourless gum or mint-flavoured strips, indicating that independently the contexts were insufficiently salient to induce the effect. This is found despite participants' subjective ratings indicating a perceived change in state following administration of flavourless gum or mint-flavoured strips. Additionally, some preliminary evidence for a non-additive facilitative effect of receiving gum or flavour at either learning and/or recall is reported. The findings raise further concerns regarding the robustness of the previously reported context-dependent memory effect with chewing gum.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Association Learning*
  • Chewing Gum*
  • Culture*
  • Humans
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • Mental Recall*
  • Mentha spicata
  • Retention, Psychology
  • Taste*
  • Verbal Learning*


  • Chewing Gum