New Coffee News: Caffeine Can Boost Memory!

New Coffee News: Caffeine Can Boost Memory!


If your workplace is anything like mine, it runs on coffee like a Hummer runs on dead dinosaurs: relentlessly and without mercy. We at DFC love a good cuppa, and frequently look with amusement upon the study-du-jour on the effects of coffee on human life. It prevents cancer! It might cause heart disease! It can cause health problems! It attracts hipsters!

Seems like everyone loves researching coffee—almost as much as drinking it—and that includes researchers at Johns Hopkins. Just published in the journal Nature Neuroscience is a behavioural study on the effects of caffeine on long-term memory. And now there’s 23+ Health Benefits and Disadvantages of Coffee and 57 Health Benefits of Coffee.

In short, subjects were given either a dose of caffeine or a placebo after viewing pictures of everyday objects. When subjects came back in a day later, they were more inclined to recall not only what they saw, but detect differences between the original image and a slightly modified new one. (Check out the study leader giving an excellent, accessible explanation in this YouTube video)

Giving subjects caffeine after studying the pictures was a new tactic, and led to results that indicate that caffeine intake boosts memory consolidation, rather than, say, improving focus.

200 mg is apparently the ideal dose, which equals the caffeine in a strong cup of joe. I love that this is an experiment that can be easily replicated at home (or at the office!). Now, if anyone dares criticize my intake, I’ll tell them I’m doing it for science.