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Thread: Coffee and memory

  1. #1
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    Coffee and memory

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi All,
    from the paper today - I will find the actual article and read but it looks quite interesting
    Cheers
    Dr Dave


    "A double espresso after revision might be the best way of preparing for an exam, new research suggests.

    Scientists have found the first clear evidence of caffeine's memory-boosting effect, and shown that it lasts for at least 24 hours.

    Volunteers took part in a double-blind trial in which they were either given a 200mg caffeine pill or a placebo five minutes after studying a series of images.

    Tests a day later proved that the memory of those who took caffeine had been enhanced at a deep level. The amount of caffeine used was roughly equivalent to a double shot of strong espresso coffee.

    US lead researcher Dr Michael Yassa, assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, said: "We've always known 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.


    "We report for the first time a specific effect of caffeine on reducing forgetting over 24 hours."

    More than 100 participants took part in the study, none of whom were regular users of caffeinated products.

    Before being given the caffeine or placebo, they were asked to identify a series of pictured objects as either outdoor or indoor items.

    The next day, both groups were tested on their ability to recognise the images they had been shown earlier. Some of the images were the same as the ones they had seen, some were new, and some similar but not identical.

    Although all the volunteers correctly identified "new" and "old" pictures, those who had taken the caffeine pill were better able to spot "similar" images.

    Participants not dosed with caffeine were more likely to be fooled into thinking the similar pictures were the ones viewed the previous day.

    Recognising the difference between two similar but not identical items reflects a deep level of memory retention, the researchers reported in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

    "If we used a standard recognition memory task without these tricky similar items, we would have found no effect of caffeine," said Dr Yassa. "However, using these items requires the brain to make a more difficult discrimination - what we call pattern separation, which seems to be the process that is enhanced by caffeine in our case."

    He added: "Almost all prior studies administered caffeine before the study session, so if there is an enhancement, it's not clear if it's due to caffeine's effects on attention, vigilance, focus or other factors.

    "By administering caffeine after the experiment, we rule out all of these effects and make sure that if there is an enhancement, it's due to memory and nothing else."

    - INDEPENDENT
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  2. #2
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    Very interesting. I thought research had always demonstrated a negative impact on short term memory?

    I noticed a few times (in my mid 20s) that drinking lots of coffee gives me more frequent "on the tip of my tongue" type moments, where you forget a word or what you were about to say.

    Of course, it could be that the high level of coffee consumption was an attempt to compensate for a lack of sleep...

  3. #3
    Senior Member smokey's Avatar
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    Caffeine has also helped improve the cognitive performance of some people with ADD, attention and concentration deficits, it has a dexamphetamine-like effect. Good find and thanks for posting.

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    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Well... as to the... err.... ah.... hmmmmm... forgot what I was going to say
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    Senior Member smokey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokey View Post
    Caffeine has also helped improve the cognitive performance of some people with ADD, attention and concentration deficits, it has a dexamphetamine-like effect. Good find and thanks for posting.
    oops, let me add, 'in these cases it has a dex-like effect'.

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    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Now you tell me!

    Only problem would be that you study late before an exam, have a couple of shots of espresso, and then can't sleep all night.
    Wake up exhausted and fail the exam anyhow.

    In our current tertiary system exams are out of favour with assessment focused on assignment work and video-tutorials so memory is less important.

  8. #8
    Senior Member smokey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    Now you tell me!

    Only problem would be that you study late before an exam, have a couple of shots of espresso, and then can't sleep all night.
    Wake up exhausted and fail the exam anyhow.

    In our current tertiary system exams are out of favour with assessment focused on assignment work and video-tutorials so memory is less important.
    Rocky, that stirred a memory of Socrates lamenting the invention of the written word... this is a great piece of writing in itself.

    Phaedrus, a Socratic dialogue of around 370 B.C. In it, Socrates recounts to Phaedrus the Egyptian legend of Theuth, the god who invented “numbers and arithmetic and geometry and astronomy, also draughts and dice, and, most important of all, letters.” Theuth presents the Egyptian king Thamus with his many inventions, and Thamus

    …said many things to Theuth in praise or blame of the various arts, which it would take too long to repeat; but when they came to the letters, “This invention, O king,” said Theuth, “will make the Egyptians wiser and will improve their memories; for it is an elixir of memory and wisdom that I have discovered.”

    But Thamus replied, “Most ingenious Theuth, one man has the ability to beget arts, but the ability to judge of their usefulness or harmfulness to their users belongs to another; and now you, who are the father of letters, have been led by your affection to ascribe to them a power the opposite of that which they really possess.

    “For this invention will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practice their memory. Their trust in writing, produced by external characters which are no part of themselves, will discourage the use of their own memory within them. You have invented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding; and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom, for they will read many things without instruction and will therefore seem to know many things, when they are for the most part ignorant and hard to get along with, since they are not wise, but only appear wise.” (Phaedrus 274c-275b)

    Wondermark Archive True Stuff: Socrates vs. the Written Word

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    In our current tertiary system exams are out of favour with assessment focused on assignment work and video-tutorials so memory is less important.
    In some places/universities/courses perhaps, but certainly not universally.

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    I found psyscilibcyn helped.

    All that dross that one has to remember.

    Who the f#ck sets these stupid exams?

    Freedom exists somewhere, or does it?

    RC

  11. #11
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Some lecturers have the knack of setting clear coherent exams that test knowledge of the key areas of the course.
    Others set vague, ambiguous questions on obscure areas of the course (and then complain when students do poorly)
    Good questions test understanding, poor questions test memory.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post

    In our current tertiary system exams are out of favour with assessment focused on assignment work and video-tutorials so memory is less important.
    In a number of professionally accredited disciplines (which account for a significant percentage of total enrolments) there are minimum 50-60 (or higher)% assessment weightings assigned to supervised examinations.....so there's a fair bit of variance regarding the importance of exams.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenscroft View Post
    I found psyscilibcyn helped.

    All that dross that one has to remember.

    Who the f#ck sets these stupid exams?

    Freedom exists somewhere, or does it?

    RC
    The moment when you think you're on a completely different forum then do a double take :P

    Psilocybin is great for a lot of things, but memory is a new one on me :P

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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    The moment when you think you're on a completely different forum then do a double take :P
    I can't imagine a thread about psychotropic drugs taking off in quite the same way here...
    Dragunov21 likes this.



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