St. John’s (CUP)—Sleep deprived students rejoice—drinking that tenth cup of coffee might actually be a boost to your academic game.
Researchers from John Hopkins University have concluded that ingesting caffeine after a study session actually improves long-term memory consolidation. The study, called “Post-study caffeine administration enhances memory consolidation in humans” and published in the academic journal Nature Neuroscience, is the first study to administer caffeine to subjects after a learning session, as opposed to beforehand.
Participants studied images of objects, then five minutes later were given either a dosage of caffeine or a placebo. The following day, participants were re-shown some of the same images, as well as different foil images. Those who had been administered caffeine were better able to retain the information from the study session and were more accurate in their identification of the objects they had studied.
In order for caffeine effects to be significant, at least 200 mg was needed. Although researchers cannot definitely conclude that caffeine enhances long-term memory, it’s still useful justification for waiting in that Timmies line at the end of a long day at the library.