psychpost | 6/02/2011 04:26:00 PM
"In humans, caffeine acts as a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, temporarily warding off drowsiness and restoring alertness."
This sounds really good especially since we live in a fast paced world in which we must perform many tasks and have little time to rest. But what effect does caffeine have on our formation of short term and long term memories?
Short term Memory
One of the effects of caffeine is the increase in attention and energy. For some individuals, these effects cause them to perform better in tasks that require short term memory.
However, research consensus indicates an "inhibitory effect, reducing the capacity of our short-term memory and working memory".
Subjects who are not regular caffeine consumers are more likely to experience negative memory effects. While regular caffeine drinkers are more likely to only experience memory benefits from caffeine.
Long Term Memory
Caffeine seems to have a positive effect on long term memory regarding tasks that require a quick recall. Caffeine seems to have more more negative effects on tasks requiring patience and waiting.
An individual who is undergoing a caffeine withdrawal may experience negative effects on short term and long term memory. Caffeine withdrawal may cause lower attention, headaches, and fatigues. Acquisition of new memory would be very difficult under these conditions.
So as we have seen, caffeine seems to have different effects depending on the task at hand. To take full advantage of this powerful substance we must first learn how our bodies react to it.
PHOTO CREDIT: http://www.flickr.com/photos/puuikibeach/