PARIS, January 12, 2014 (AFP) – A jolt of caffeine can boost memory, according to a study published Sunday that provides a scientific motive for students slurping coffee, tea or energy drinks when cramming for exams.
A team at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, found that caffeine enhances certain memories for at least a day after they were formed.
This is because the process of registering memories — say, reading a book ahead of an exam — may happen in conditions where the person is eager to absorb and retain information. This makes it hard to distinguish between someone’s natural alertness and that derived from caffeine. To strip out this confounding factor, a team led by Michael Yassa, an assistant professor of psychological and brain science, tried a different tack.