Maybe the SATs should be held at coffee shops.
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University say 200 milligrams of caffeine may improve the brain's ability to consolidate memories.
The study, just published in Nature Neuroscience, showed a series of everyday objects to 160 participants, and were then given either a 200-milligram caffeine pill — the equivalent of a strong cup of coffee — or a placebo.
Twenty-four hours later they were shown another set of images and asked to identify the ones they had seen the day before. The tricky part was that some of the pictures were slightly different.
The results showed that the people who took the caffeine pill were better than their noncaffeinated counterparts at identifying the images that were similar but not the same as the ones they had seen the previous day.
The research is important because it shows “for the first time a specific effect of caffeine on reducing forgetting over 24 hours,” according to researchers.
But the quantity of caffeine is important, the researchers said. More than 200 milligram of caffeine and the brain might be too agitated to consolidate memories. Too little and there may be no effect at all.
For more on the study, check out this interview from Johns Hopkins University: