Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Coffee Jump-starts Short-term Memory

Date:
December 12, 2005
Source:
Radiological Society of North America
Summary:
Caffeine exerts a positive effect on short-term memory and reaction times, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

For the first time, researchers have demonstrated that caffeine modulates short-term working memory. The study was presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

"We were able to show that caffeine modulates a higher brain function through its effects on distinct areas of the brain," said the paper's lead author, Florian Koppelstätter, M.D., Ph.D., radiology fellow at Medical University Innsbruck in Austria.

Dr. Koppelstätter and colleagues used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to determine the effects of caffeine consumption on brain activation in a network of modules subserving short-term memory of 15 healthy adult volunteers during a working memory task. Working memory represents the kind of brain activity required to remember things for a short period of time, according to Dr. Koppelstätter, "like looking up a telephone number in the phone book and storing the number until you've dialed it."

The volunteers were shown a sequence of simple images (the letters A, B, C or D) and then asked if an image was the same as the one shown two images earlier. The volunteers were instructed to respond as quickly as possible using the right index finger for "yes" and the left index finger for "no." The task was performed after a 12-hour period of no caffeine and a four-hour period of no nicotine exposure. Administration of 100 milligrams (mg) of caffeine (approximately the amount in two cups of coffee) as well as placebo was randomized across volunteers so that each of them underwent a caffeine and placebo scan. In the "caffeine condition," the volunteers demonstrated a tendency towards improved short-term memory skills and reaction times during the task. The fMRI showed increased activity in brain regions located in the frontal lobe, where a part of the working memory network is located, and the anterior cingulum, the part of the brain that controls attention. In the "placebo condition," the volunteers showed no change in activation patterns from the earlier test.

"What is exciting is that by means of fMRI we are able to see that caffeine exerts increases in neuronal activity in distinct parts of the brain going along with changes in behavior," Dr. Koppelstätter said.

While these results are promising, Dr. Koppelstätter does not recommend rushing out to the break room for another cup of coffee just yet. "We can demonstrate that caffeine exerts influence on the function of the normal brain, but we still need to learn more about caffeine's effect on mental resources."

Caffeine is currently the most widely used stimulant in the world, and is mainly found in coffee, tea, soft drinks and chocolate. Daily caffeine consumption per person averages 76 mg (equivalent to 1 ½ cups of coffee) worldwide and 238 mg (more than 4 ½ cups of coffee) in the United States.
Dr. Koppelstätter's co-authors are Thorsten D. Poeppel, M.D., PhD., Christian M. Siedentopf, Ilka Haala, Anja Ischebeck, Ph.D., Felix M. Mottaghy, M.D., Ph.D., Paul Rhomberg, M.D., Ph.D., Michael Verius, Ph.D., Stefan M. Golaszewski, M.D., Ph.D., Christian Kolbitsch, M.D., Ph.D., Stephan R. Felber, M.D., Ph.D., and Bernd J. Krause, M.D., Ph.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Radiological Society of North America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Radiological Society of North America. "Coffee Jump-starts Short-term Memory." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 December 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051212091544.htm>.
Radiological Society of North America. (2005, December 12). Coffee Jump-starts Short-term Memory. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051212091544.htm
Radiological Society of North America. "Coffee Jump-starts Short-term Memory." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051212091544.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) — In a ruling attorneys for both sides agreed was a first of its kind, a Georgia appeals court said parents can be held liable for what kids put online. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

Buzz60 (Oct. 17, 2014) — Feeling down? Reach for the refrigerator, not the medicine cabinet! TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) shares some of the best foods to boost your mood. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

Newsy (Oct. 15, 2014) — Researchers claim they’ve diagnosed the first example of the disorder in a 31-year-old U.S. Navy serviceman. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins