Two expreso coffees a day. It is about the amount of caffeine that, according to a new scientific experiment, helps enhance our long-term memory. The study, led by researcher Michael Yassa of the University of California (Irvine), has shown that taking 200 milligrams of caffeine may improve our ability to recall something more than 24 hours of seeing it.

The experiment, whose conclusions are now published in Nature Neuroscience, was conducted among 160 volunteers. After asking them to observe in detail images of objects, some were given a pill with 200 milligrams of caffeine

After 24 hours, the volunteers were treated to a memory test in which included the images that they had seen the previous day, other similar and others that they had not seen. They were asked to rank the images as ‘ancient’, ‘new’ and ‘similar’. The result is that there was no difference between both groups of participants in identifying the old images and the new, but if with the ‘similar’. Those who had consumed the pill of caffeine much better able to identify them. This ability to identify similar elements is called separation pattern and, according to the researchers, reflects a higher level of memory.

The conclusion of Yassa and his team is that the consumption of small doses of caffeine helps the process of memory consolidation. However, it does not help in the short-term memory. In another experiment participants were asked to perform the test only a few hours after ingesting caffeine, and there was no difference between those who had consumed and those that do not. Also conducted the same experiment with higher and lower doses of caffeine and found different results. In other words, these 200 milligrams or two express, neither more nor less, it is the dose just to improve your memory.

Rossana