A group of Scientists have shown in their studies that coffee can perk up certain memories for at least, 24 hours after it is consumed; Coffee doesn’t just perk you up but can give your memory a boost with just one mug a day.
According to the findings published in the journal, Nature Neuroscience, more than 100 people that took caffeine pills after a learning session had improved image recall. A mug of coffee is equivalent to 200mg of caffeine pill, claimed experts. The participants used for the study were divided into two groups, one group was given caffeine Pills and the other, Placebo (substance which contains no caffeine & has no effect). The participants had to identify pictured objects as their outdoor or indoor items before taking the pill or placebo five minutes later. Saliva samples were taken beforehand to measure their caffeine levels and again one, three and 24 hours afterwards. The next day, they were shown some of the same images plus similar ones and random new ones. Both groups correctly identified pictures being new or old, but those ones on caffeine were better at spotting the similar alternatives. Those who received the placebo incorrectly identified these as the originals from the day before. Caffeine enhanced consolidation of long-term memories, affirmed Dr. Michael Yassa of the University of California.
Researchers further said that, caffeine has cognitive enhancing effects, but its particular effects on strengthening memories and making them resistant to forgetting has never been examined in detail in humans. The brain’s ability to recognize the difference between two similar items reflects a deeper level of memory retention. Dr. Michael added, “If we used a standard recognition memory task without these tricky similar items, we would have found no effect of caffeine. However, using those items requires the brain to make a more difficult discrimination, what we call pattern separation, which seems to be the process enhanced by the caffeine”.
The research is different from earlier experiments that found caffeine had little or no effect on long –term memory because the subjects took the caffeine only after they had viewed and tried to memorize the images.
Dr. Michael said, “Almost all prior studies administered caffeine before the study session, so if there is an enhancement, it is not clear if is due to caffeine’s effect on attention, vigilance, focus or other factors. By administering caffeine after the experiment, we rule out these effects and make sure if there is an enhancement, it is due to memory and nothing else”. The caffeine induced improvement was not seen with smaller doses of caffeine or when it was given an hour before viewing the image.