Caffeine Enhances Memory

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A new reason to indulge in a morning coffee.

Although caffeine has long been said to improve focus and mental processing, a recent study published in Nature Neuroscience suggests that caffeine also enhances short-term memory ability. Dr. Michael Yassa and a team of scientists from Johns Hopkins University conducted a study in which they showed a series of images to two groups of participants who normally did not consume caffeine, then gave each group either a placebo or a 200-milligram caffeine dose. 24 hours later, the participants who had taken the caffeine tablet were more able to accurately identify additional images shown to them as being similar rather than identical to the images they had seen the previous day, indicating improved memory retention. A long-term effect has not yet been determined, but the team’s research shows that caffeine can strengthen memory and reduce forgetting for at least 24 hours.

In the video below, Michael Yassa discusses the research process and the “optimal dose” of caffeine needed to improve memory.

Photo by Sam Howzit, licensed under Creative Commons.

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