A University of Wisconsin study reveals talking to yourself can improve your brain by increasing your memory. But this was only true for “objects that people were quite familiar with and knew what they looked like,” said Gary Lupyan, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin and the lead author of the study.
“We were interested in whether speaking to yourself over and above just thinking can help you find an object,” said Gary Lupyan, assistant professor of psychology, according to abc news.
The small study, published in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, found that people who talked to themselves found items more quickly than those who did not.
The researchers used two groups of which one was a control group. A true experiment is often thought of as a laboratory study. However, this is not always the case. A true experiment is defined as an experiment conducted where an effort is made to impose control over all other variables except the one under study. It is often easier to impose this sort of control in a laboratory setting. Thus, true experiments have often been erroneously identified as laboratory studies.
Researchers divided up study participants and instructed them either to repeat the name of the food item they were searching for, or keep quiet. Those who said out loud the name of the object increased the speed in finding the object.
Items with characteristic colors like bananas, grapes and Cheerios had stronger associations with the chitchat than those with less specific colors, like Jell-O and Pop-Tarts, the researchers wrote.
“The idea is that saying words out loud helps to activate properties more actively in the brain and efficiently configures your brain to help temporarily process the information,” said Lupyan. “Language is applicable to all sorts of tasks that are not even consciously incorporated into these kinds of functions, like searching for objects.”
Next time you are looking for your keys, it’s more efficient to say “Keys were are you?”