Poster Title

The Relationship Between Caffeine and Short-Term Memory

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Secondary School

Institution

Project Lead The Way - Kentucky

KY House District #

12

KY Senate District #

8

Abstract

The relationship between caffeine and short-term memory has been long studied. The question being answered in this experiment is what specific effect does caffeine have on short-term memory in a picture-matching game? Caffeine is expected to show a benefit to short-term memory, as it stimulates the hypothalamus of the brain. The main article we studied was from Harvard University, they concluded that caffeine does have an effect on the human brain. Our experiment tested the effects of caffeine on short-term memory as used by high school seniors. We used a memory game and timer to differentiate how caffeine affected our participants. 10 matching sets of pictures were laid out in a 5x4 square. The participant was instructed to flip two cards over at one time. If the cards did not match, they were to flip the cards back over and try again. According to the data we collected, groups that had ingested Kool-Aid mixed with 5-Hour energy completed the memory game in less time than they had before ingesting the caffeine. The groups that had ingested regular Kool-Aid completed the test in relatively the same time, with slight variation due to uncontrollable variables. Our results supported the hypothesis: caffeine has a positive effect on short-term memory. Based on the results of our experiment, caffeine increases short-term memory recall of high-school seniors if ingested 30 minutes before the required activity. We recommend that the caffeine ingested be 100 mg, which is equal to ½ bottle of 5 Hour Energy. Though both correlations were negative, the average difference for those who drank the 5 Hour Energy was twice the average of the participants that drank the Kool Aid (Average difference for A was -9.386666667 while the average difference for B was -20.07)

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The Relationship Between Caffeine and Short-Term Memory

The relationship between caffeine and short-term memory has been long studied. The question being answered in this experiment is what specific effect does caffeine have on short-term memory in a picture-matching game? Caffeine is expected to show a benefit to short-term memory, as it stimulates the hypothalamus of the brain. The main article we studied was from Harvard University, they concluded that caffeine does have an effect on the human brain. Our experiment tested the effects of caffeine on short-term memory as used by high school seniors. We used a memory game and timer to differentiate how caffeine affected our participants. 10 matching sets of pictures were laid out in a 5x4 square. The participant was instructed to flip two cards over at one time. If the cards did not match, they were to flip the cards back over and try again. According to the data we collected, groups that had ingested Kool-Aid mixed with 5-Hour energy completed the memory game in less time than they had before ingesting the caffeine. The groups that had ingested regular Kool-Aid completed the test in relatively the same time, with slight variation due to uncontrollable variables. Our results supported the hypothesis: caffeine has a positive effect on short-term memory. Based on the results of our experiment, caffeine increases short-term memory recall of high-school seniors if ingested 30 minutes before the required activity. We recommend that the caffeine ingested be 100 mg, which is equal to ½ bottle of 5 Hour Energy. Though both correlations were negative, the average difference for those who drank the 5 Hour Energy was twice the average of the participants that drank the Kool Aid (Average difference for A was -9.386666667 while the average difference for B was -20.07)