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Caffeine improves recognition of positive words

Date:
November 7, 2012
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Caffeine perks up most coffee-lovers, but a new study shows a small dose of caffeine also increases their speed and accuracy for recognizing words with positive connotation. The research shows that caffeine enhances the neural processing of positive words, but not those with neutral or negative associations.

Caffeine perks up most coffee-lovers, but a new study shows a small dose of caffeine also increases their speed and accuracy for recognizing words with positive connotation. The research published November 7 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Lars Kuchinke and colleagues from Ruhr University, Germany, shows that caffeine enhances the neural processing of positive words, but not those with neutral or negative associations.

Previous research showed that caffeine increases activity in the central nervous system, and normal doses of caffeine improve performance on simple cognitive tasks and behavioral responses. It is also known that certain memories are enhanced when strong positive or negative emotions are associated with objects, but the link between caffeine consumption and these emotional biases was unknown.

This study demonstrates, for the first time, that consuming 200 mg of caffeine, equivalent to 2-3 cups of coffee, 30 minutes before a task can improve the implicit recognition of positive words, but has no effect on the processing of emotionally neutral or negative words. The authors suggest that this effect is driven by caffeine's strong dopaminergic effects in the language-dominant regions of the brain.


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The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lars Kuchinke, Vanessa Lux. Caffeine Improves Left Hemisphere Processing of Positive Words. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (11): e48487 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0048487

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Caffeine improves recognition of positive words." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121107200030.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2012, November 7). Caffeine improves recognition of positive words. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121107200030.htm
Public Library of Science. "Caffeine improves recognition of positive words." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121107200030.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

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