NPR logo
Minty Fresh and Smart?
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/9121065/9121066" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Minty Fresh and Smart?

Education

Minty Fresh and Smart?

Minty Fresh and Smart?
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/9121065/9121066" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Peppermint may be more than just a cool treat. This week, some Maryland middle school students were given mint candies with the expectation that it might improve their test scores.

SCOTT SIMON, host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

This week 800 students at Eastern Middle School in Silver Spring, Maryland received mint candies. Not as a reward or for a sweet goodnight, but as a deliberate strategy to improve their test scores. Apparently several researchers have reported that a slight taste and whiff of peppermint can improve concentration.

Brian Raudenbush, for instance, associate professor of psychology at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia, says that athletes who inhale a sniff of peppermint before a game performed better. Peppermint, guys, he said, peppermint, not a sniff of anything else. It'll be several weeks before the result of the Maryland school assessments in reading and math are back and teachers can judge if peppermint sniffing worked.

If peppermint improves concentration, why hand out candies to middle school students? Why not airline pilots and brain surgeons?

Copyright © 2007 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.