The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

January 14, 2014

Caffeine may help you forget less, study says

(Continued)

“It is a much more detailed memory,” said Yassa. “If all they remembered was ‘coffee mug,’ they would say the picture was the same. But they were remembering the exact coffee mug they saw.”

Scientists call this type of memory — when we can determine that something is similar but not exactly the same as something we’ve seen or done before — “pattern separation memory.” It is the type of memory we use at the end of a work day when we remember where we parked our car in the morning, rather than yesterday morning, or the morning before.

To see if more caffeine lead to better memory boosts, the researchers tried the trial again with 300 milligrams of caffeine. The results were about the same as with the 200 milligram dose, and some of the test subjects reported some uncomfortable side effects from the increased caffeine levels, including nausea and jitters.

Yassa said that there is no magic in taking caffeine five minutes after something that occurs that you need to remember. “Before or between or after or during, it would all work,” he said. “The only thing I would say is: Don’t drink caffeine to pull an all-nighter. Sleep is really good for memory, but if you are going to drink coffee to stay up, you won’t get the boost from either one.”

The next step for Yassa and his team is to figure out why caffeine helps with pattern separation memory. One potential explanation is that caffeine increases arousal levels, which can be associated with better memory.

“Other scientists have found that when animals are shocked or scared or stimulated in some way they have better memory,” Yassa told the Los Angeles Times. “We know that with caffeine your heart rate can go up and there is jitteriness, and other symptoms of arousal too. Maybe these moderate doses of caffeine can boost our memory without these other side effects.”

———

©2014 Los Angeles Times

Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Attorney general sues 2 Minn. colleges ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's attorney general has filed a lawsuit against two colleges, accusing the schools of misleading criminal justice students about their ability to land a job in their field and about transferring credits to other instit

    July 22, 2014

  • sniper wife pic Jurors start considering Ventura case ST. PAUL — An attorney for Jesse Ventura asked a federal jury Tuesday to award the former Minnesota governor millions of dollars in damages for what he claimed is a lie in a memoir by the late military sniper Chris Kyle. Ventura testified during the

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Target debuts shopping app "In a Snap" will recognize images

    July 22, 2014

  • Feds to monitor Newark police Probe found pattern of unconstitutional policing

    July 22, 2014

  • Thousands without power due to storms MCGREGOR (AP) — Thousands of Minnesotans are without electricity after powerful storms moved through central and northeastern Minnesota. Strong winds of 50 to 70 mph knocked down trees and power lines overnight Monday. Minnesota Power and Lake Count

    July 22, 2014

  • Ellison urges Minn. to aid Central American minors ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota congressman is leading efforts to bring more unaccompanied children fleeing Central America to the state. But, immigration advocates and nonprofit groups that serve refugees are concerned Minnesota might not be abl

    July 22, 2014

  • Detroit retirees back pension cuts by a landslide DETROIT (AP) — A year after filing for bankruptcy, Detroit is building momentum to get out, especially after workers and retirees voted in favor of major pension changes just a few weeks before a judge holds a crucial trial that could end the largest

    July 22, 2014

  • Closings set in Ventura's suit over sniper's book ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Closing arguments are set in former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura's defamation lawsuit against the estate of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle. The case is expected to go to the federal jury in St. Paul after lawyers for both

    July 22, 2014

  • American Jews, other 'lone soldiers' serve Israel The two Americans killed in fighting in the Gaza Strip followed in the footsteps of scores of Jews from around the world who have volunteered to fight for Israel. Israel calls them the lone soldiers: They are men and women in the prime of their live

    July 22, 2014

  • 9 TC Rainbow stores to close Supermarkets to lose in Cottage Grove, Shoreview, Inver Grove Heights, Apple Valley, Blaine, Bloomington, Coon Rapids, Maple Grove and Savage

    July 21, 2014