Coffee May Not Really Wake You Up But It Can Improve Your Memory

Photo: GETTY

Coffee, as well as tasting good, may help with remembering what was the point of those endless lectures or meetings.

US scientists say giving people caffeine pills just after they had been shown a series of images helped them correctly identify the same images, and distinguish similar but different images, 24 hours later.

Researcher Daniel Borota and his colleagues asked over 100 participants to identify pictured objects as either outdoor or indoor items.

Shortly after this they received either 200 mg of caffeine or placebo pills.

When the participants returned a day later, they were shown some of the same pictures along with random new images and similar-looking new images.

They were asked to categorize each picture as ‘old’, ‘new’ or ‘similar to original pictures’.

Both the placebo and caffeine pill groups were able to correctly identify pictures as ‘new’ or ‘old’.

However, those who had taken caffeine were more accurate at distinguishing ‘similar’ pictures from the original ones.

Those those who received placebo incorrectly identified these ‘similar’ pictures as the ‘old’ originals.

This caffeine-induced improvement in memory performance in recognizing similar images was not seen with smaller doses of caffeine or when caffeine was given one hour before the picture identification test.

The study, ‘Post-study caffeine administration enhances memory consolidation in humans’, was published online this week in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

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