Thursday, December 01, 2005


According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, Austrian researchers have discovered that caffeine keeps people alert by acting on the part of the brain involved in short-term memory.

As you know, I love coffee. When people ask me how I can sleep at night after drinking several cups of coffee during the day, I ask how they function without a cup of joe in the morning. I think if I didn't have coffee I would want to sleep all day. As it is, I require more sleep than most people, I think.

The Tribune article noted that average daily caffeine consumption for Americans is equivalent to over four cups of coffee per day, or three times the world average. So, I guess I'm not alone.

The Austrian researchers used an MRI to test brain activity before and after caffeine consumption. They found increased activity in the frontal lobe, where memory is located, and in the cingulum, which controls attention.

"The increased activity means you are more able to focus," a researcher said. "You have more attention and your task management is better."

Isn't science wonderful to explain these things to us?

One lump or two?

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