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article imageCaffeine could improve memory

By Tim Sandle     Mar 11, 2014 in Science
Drinking coffee straight after studying might help people remember information later, a new study suggests. With drinking coffee before studying, there was no improvement.
These are findings of a new research study carried out at Johns Hopkins University. For the research, 160 study participants were asked to examine a range of pictures. After a period of study, each participant either took a caffeine pill or a placebo. The caffeine pill was of a dose slightly lower than that in a tall Starbucks coffee.
A day later, the study group looked at another series of images that included pictures similar but not identical to the earlier ones. The group were then asked whether each picture was new, similar or old.
Those who took the caffeine pill were more likely to correctly identify an object as similar instead of mistaking it for a previously seen object, according to Science News.
The conclusion of the research is that caffeine might help jog memories by influencing the levels of certain chemical messengers in the brain or the behavior of neurons in the hippocampus, a brain region important for memory. The key aspect is that the caffeine hit needs to come after the new information is presented, while the brain is busy filing those memories away.
The findings have been published in the journal Nature Neuroscience. The paper is titled “Post-study caffeine administration enhances memory consolidation in humans”.
The Digital Journal covered a similar story in January. In that case many scientists are skeptical about the outcome.
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