Is caffeine a cognitive enhancer?

  title={Is caffeine a cognitive enhancer?},
  author={Astrid Nehlig},
  journal={Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD},
  volume={20 Suppl 1},
  • A. Nehlig
  • Published 14 April 2010
  • Psychology, Biology
  • Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD
The effects of caffeine on cognition were reviewed based on the large body of literature available on the topic. Caffeine does not usually affect performance in learning and memory tasks, although caffeine may occasionally have facilitatory or inhibitory effects on memory and learning. Caffeine facilitates learning in tasks in which information is presented passively; in tasks in which material is learned intentionally, caffeine has no effect. Caffeine facilitates performance in tasks involving… 
Caffeine as an attention enhancer: reviewing existing assumptions
Evidence shows that caffeine has clear beneficial effects on attention, and that the effects are even more widespread than previously assumed.
The effect of caffeine on working memory load-related brain activation in middle-aged males
Acute effects of caffeine on behavioural and ERP indices of attention in healthy, low consumers of caffeine
Improvements in reaction time and accuracy following caffeine predominantly reflected a maintenance of general arousal and tonic alertness, and it was concluded that caffeine primarily enhanced attentional processing by preventing fatigue and sustaining attention.
How does caffeine influence memory? Drug, experimental, and demographic factors
There is limited evidence that caffeine affects performance in memory tasks beyond improved reaction times, but there is evidence that the source of caffeine can modulate its effects on memory.
Impact of Taurine and Caffeine on the Cognitive Performance of Healthy Older Adults
The results suggest that any beneficial effects energy drinks have on cognitive performance, may be due to the presence of caffeine, and that the addition of taurine may actually attenuate the effects of caffeine if cognitive task demands are high.
Effects of Caffeine Administration on Reaction Time, Attention, and Inhibitory Control in Children and Adolescents
This study is among the first to report sex differences in responses to caffeine on cognitive tasks in children and adolescents and is consistent with previous studies showing caffeine facilitates performance on some cognitive tasks and that these improvements are not related to reversal of withdrawal effects.
No Enhancement of 24-Hour Visuomotor Skill Retention by Post-Practice Caffeine Administration
No evidence is found to suggest that post-training caffeine administration enhances 24-hour retention of a newly-learned continuous visuomotor skill, and the results support the notion that memory-enhancing effects of post- training caffeine ingestion may be task-specific.
The Effects of Caffeine on Spatial Learning and Memory
It is shown that rats given chronic (pretreatment) caffeine make significantly more memory errors than rats given acute caffeine only, implying that while acute caffeine may not cause any impairment in learning, chronic caffeine impairs memory over time.
Neurobehavioral Aspects of Caffeine
Caffeine Enhances Memory Performance in Young Adults during Their Non-optimal Time of Day
Caffeine has a specific benefit for memory during students’ non-optimal time of day – early morning, which has real-world implications for students taking morning exams.


Effects of caffeine on mood and memory
Effects of caffeine on human behavior.
  • A. Smith
  • Psychology, Biology
    Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association
  • 2002
Caffeine and novelty: Effects on electrodermal activity and performance
Caffeine attenuates scopolamine-induced memory impairment in humans
It was concluded that caffeine possesses cholinergic cognition enhancing properties, and could be used as a control drug in studies using the scopolamine paradigm and possibly also in other experimental studies of cognitive enhancers, as the effects of a newly developed cognition enhancing drug should at least be superior to the effect of three cups of coffee.
Influence of caffeine on selective attention in well-rested and fatigued subjects.
Caffeine effects on the P3 elicited by target letters were more pronounced in the fatigued than in the well-rested subjects, indicating that the effects of caffeine are dependent on the state of the subject.
Effects of caffeine and caffeine withdrawal on mood and cognitive performance degraded by sleep restriction
Cognitive performance was found to be affected adversely by acute caffeine withdrawal and, even in the context of alertness lowered by sleep restriction, cognitive performance was not improved by caffeine in the absence of these withdrawal effects, suggesting that there is little benefit to be gained from caffeine consumption.
Caffeine improves memory performance during distraction in middle‐aged, but not in young or old subjects
The present study evaluated the effect of caffeine (225 mg) on cognitive performance in young, middle‐aged, and old subjects in a placebo‐controlled parallel groups design (n=60). Groups were matched
Effects of caffeine on cognition and mood without caffeine abstinence
Improvements were obtained in cognition for attention, problem solving and delayed recall, but not immediate recall or working memory, but performance in the placebo condition was close to the maximum, giving little margin for improvement.
Regular Caffeine Consumption: A Balance of Adverse and Beneficial Effects for Mood and Psychomotor Performance
The effects of caffeine, impulsivity and time of day on performance, mood and cardiovascular function
Caffeine improved performance on a logical reasoning task and caffeine x time of day x impulsivity effects were found in analyses of visual search tasks, which support the view that the effects of caffeine depend on a combination of factors similar to those outlined for performance.