I don’t know about you but I cannot function in the morning until I have had my hit of caffeine. Despite my husband trying to convert me to herbal teas, only a good strong coffee will do. Well it seems that I have the last laugh on this one, as there is now evidence to suggest that drinking coffee could actually help enhance long-term memory.
Michael Yassa, of the University of California, has conducted a study investigating the effects of caffeine on memory function in adults. The 160 people who took part in the tests were asked to study images of objects. They were then randomly given either a pill containing 200 milligrams of caffeine, or a placebo. (200 mg of caffeine is about the equivalent of two espressos, or if you are in Italy, then ‘due Caffè’)
24 hours later, the volunteers were brought back and were given a memory test containing images they had seen the day before, unseen images and images that were similar. They had to categorize the images in to “old”, “new” or “similar”. Those who had the caffeine pill were better able to identify the “similar” images.
The results of the study have been published in Nature Neuroscience, with Yassa concluding that caffeine can enhance long-term memory by improving the process of memory consolidation. More tests were done to see if the same technique helped memory retrieval but it had no effect. It also seems that a lesser or larger dose of caffeine has no effect, so two espressos is what hits the spot.
[Image via womenshealthmag]