Far from being a distraction doodling could help people concentrate on mundane tasks. Jackie Andrade from the University of Plymouth asked 40 participants to listen to a dull two-and-a-half minute telephone message about a party. Half the participants were told to doodle as they did so, shading in circles and squares on their notepaper. The doodlers were later able to memorise more names on the list and 29% more details about the message than the non doodlers. One theory is that the doodling uses just enough of the brain's resources to prevent it drifting off completely without it being too much of a distraction.
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