Editor's note

Like many kids his age, 16 year old Robert is prepping for exams and he recently wrote to The Conversation with an excellent question: is it OK to listen to music while studying? Psychology lecturer Timothy Byron, who has researched music, memory and the mind, says the evidence suggests it’s probably fine - with a few important caveats.

His answer is part of our long running Curious Kids series, where we ask experts to answer the tricky questions from younger readers: like, how are stars made? And does chewing gum really stay inside you for years?

And if you or a younger reader in your household has a burning question they’d like answered by a scholar, send it in to curiouskids@theconversation.edu.au.

Sunanda Creagh

Head of Digital Storytelling

Top story

Does music usually put you in a better mood? That might help you try a little bit harder and stick with challenging tasks. Shutterstock

Curious Kids: is it OK to listen to music while studying?

Timothy Byron, University of Wollongong

Research suggest it's probably fine to listen to music while you're studying - with some caveats.

Swallowing a lot of gum can cause it to stick together or stick to food in your gut. www.shuttershock.com

Curious Kids: does chewing gum stay inside you for years?

Jerry Zhou, Western Sydney University

Swallowing a lot of gum can cause it to stick together or stick to food in your gut.

Stars come into existence because of a powerful force of nature called gravity. ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt

Curious Kids: how are stars made?

Orsola De Marco, Macquarie University

Stars begin their life inside very large, fluffy clouds of space dust and gas called nebulae.

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