A new study suggests that to boost your memory, simply clench your hands into fists. To help form memories, clench your right hand, and to recall the memory, clench your left hand, they said.
Researchers divided 51 right-handed study participants into different groups and assigned them an activity involving memorizing and recalling 72 words.
One group balled their right hands into fists for 90 seconds before they were given the list of words to memorize, and then clenched their right hands again after they had recalled the words. A second group did the same activity, but with the left hand clenched. A third group didn't clench their hands at all, while another group clenched their left hand before memorizing the words, and then clenched their right hand before they recalled them. One last group did the same, but reversed the hands.
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The group that performed the best was the group that first clenched the right hand, followed by the left hand.
"The findings suggest that some simple body movements -- by temporarily changing the way the brain functions -- can improve memory," study researcher Ruth Propper, of Montclair State University, said in a statement. Clenching the right fist activates a brain region involved in storing memories, while clenching the left fist triggers a region key in retrieving those memories, she said.
"Future research will examine whether hand clenching can also improve other forms of cognition, for example verbal or spatial abilities," Propper added.
Other odd tricks that may boost memory? A British study published in the British Journal of Psychology last month finds that chewing gum can improve your concentration in memory tasks.