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Post-study caffeine administration enhances memory consolidation in humans

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Abstract

It is currently not known whether caffeine has an enhancing effect on long-term memory in humans. We used post-study caffeine administration to test its effect on memory consolidation using a behavioral discrimination task. Caffeine enhanced performance 24 h after administration according to an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve; this effect was specific to consolidation and not retrieval. We conclude that caffeine enhanced consolidation of long-term memories in humans.

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Change history

  • Corrected online 17 January 2014

    In the version of this article initially published, in the first sentence in the Online Methods, the s.d. of the age of the subjects was missing and the number of female subjects was given as 280. The s.d. is 2 years and the number of female subjects is 80. The error has been corrected in the HTML and PDF versions of the article.

  • Corrected online 30 October 2014

    In the version of this article initially published, there were errors in the reporting of statistics. In the Figure 1b legend, the asterisked P value was given in the HTML version as *P = 0.05 and in the PDF version as *P < 0.05. It should read *P < 0.05, one-tailed. In the Figure 2a legend, the degrees of freedom for the immediate caffeine group were given as 42 and the P value as 0.05; the correct values are 71 and 0.049, respectively. In the Figure 2b legend and the fifth paragraph of the main text, the P value for the main effect of caffeine was given as 0.001; the correct value is 0.05. The errors have been corrected in the HTML and PDF versions of the article.

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Acknowledgements

M.A.Y. is supported by US National Institute on Aging P50 AG05146 and R01 AG034613. J.P.T. is supported by US National Science Foundation CHE-1213438. D.B. is supported by a Johns Hopkins University Provost Undergraduate Research Award. We thank A. Newman and C. Townsend for the use of their high-performance liquid chromatography instrument, D. Spira, A. Ward and J. Kim for help with participant testing, Z. Reagh for help with data analysis, and J. Knierim for helpful discussions regarding this manuscript.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

    • Daniel Borota
    • , Elizabeth Murray
    • , Allen Chang
    • , Joseph M Watabe
    • , Maria Ly
    •  & Michael A Yassa
  2. Department of Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

    • Gizem Keceli
    •  & John P Toscano
  3. Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, University of California, Irvine, California, USA.

    • Michael A Yassa

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Contributions

D.B., J.P.T. and M.A.Y. designed the study. D.B., E.M., G.K., A.C., J.M.W. and M.L. conducted the experiments. D.B. and M.A.Y. wrote the manuscript with input from all authors.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Michael A Yassa.

Integrated supplementary information

Supplementary information

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  1. 1.

    Supplementary Text and Figures

    Supplementary Figures 1–2 and Supplementary Table 1