Caffeine Boosts Memory


A recent study published in Nature Neuroscience indicates that caffeine enhances certain memories for at least a day after they were formed.

Volunteers were asked to look at images of several objects and afterwards were given either caffeine (the equivalent of two cups of strong espresso) and some were given a placebo. Saliva samples were taken to measure caffeine levels, and the next day, they were asked to look again at another set of pictures. Some were the same, some were different, and some were “similar,” for instance, a basket with one handle instead of two. Both groups did well at distinguishing between old and new pictures, but those on caffeine were much sharper at identifying the “similar” items. Using the similar items requires the brain to make a more difficult discrimination, which was enhanced by caffeine in this case.

As we know, caffeine and coffee are associated with healthy longevity and may have some protective effects from cognitive declines like Alzheimer’s Disease.


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