Caffeine has been shown, again and again, to have positive benefits. Caffeine stops cancer. Caffeine reduces muscle soreness. And according to a new study, caffeine will also help you develop a better memory.
The study was fairly straightforward: 160 people were asked to study images, and then given a pill. One pill contained 200 milligrams of caffeine, or two espresso’s worth, and the other was a placebo. Then they gave them a set of images with some that were similar but not the same as the images they’d previously studied. The results, according to Nature?
Caffeine enhanced performance 24 hours after administration according to an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve; this effect was specific to consolidation and not retrieval. We conclude that caffeine enhanced consolidation of long-term memories in humans.
In other words, the caffeine helped the subjects better remember the information. The bad news is that caffeine doesn’t do much for memory retrieval; a follow-up to this study found no similar effects. But this does mean that if you need to remember something, reading it while sipping a cup of coffee will ensure that you at least have that information locked somewhere deep in your brain, even if you can’t get at it.
In short, coffee really is crucial to your functioning as a human being. Just remember, folks, shots of espresso to help you remember, shots of liquor to help you forget.
(image courtesy of Scott Beale on Flickr)