Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Caffeine Linked to Memory Function…Thank Goodness!

BioTekkers have varying levels of caffeine dependence. Some steer clear of this widely available stimulant in all its forms, while others of us can’t even write a blog post without reaching for a fresh cup of java (from Vermont’s own Green Mountain Coffee, of course). Caffeine’s effects are still being discovered and studied, even after hundreds, if not thousands, of years of practical use.

National Geographic recently published an interesting interview with Michael Yassa, Assistant Professor and Principal Investigator at UC Irvine’s Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, where they discussed his recently published findings on caffeine and its effects on memory in humans. In his research, a small group of people who were prequalified as “caffeine-free” were given either a caffeine pill or a placebo, then subject to memory experiments. He was able to document what we’ve all hoped was true…that caffeine indeed does seem to improve memory function.

Yassa talks about how caffeine can induce the same effects that one experiences during a "fight-or-flight" response. And as we all gear up for SLAS next week in San Diego, including all of our seminars, poster presentations, and booth activities, we’re wondering how caffeine will affect the "flight-then-flight" effect that we’re sure to experience.

So we’ll conduct some unofficial research on the effects of caffeine on jet-lagged memory when we recap our SLAS experience. Stay tuned, and if you’re headed out to SLAS, happy travels!

By: BioTek Instruments

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