A language-learning app development company called Memrise looked at lots of data to see what helped their users retain information. After finding links between using the funny photos and students’ ability to recall phrases, they broke down the results of memory tests to see which photos worked best.
“We wanted to know what kinds of visual mnemonics were most effective at helping people to learn fast,” Ben Whately, chief operating officer at Memrise, told BBC News. “The pattern began to emerge that pictures of cats always featured disproportionately among the most effective,” he says.
Memrise used this research to develop CatAcademy, an app that shows funny photos of cats along with corresponding phrases in Spanish.
Want to know why this works? Of course you do. Because SCIENCE! Japanese researchers published a paper in PLoSOne last year showing that study “participants performed tasks requiring focused attention more carefully after viewing cute images.”
Experts agree! Looking at lolcats is good for your brain, if not ur grammerz.