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Caffeine Good For Long-Term Memory

CmdrTaco posted more than 14 years ago | from the nnoott-eennoouugghh-ccaaffiieennee dept.

Science 222

Keith Gabryelski writes "an article entitled "Caffeine Causes Changes In Brain Cells" at Planet Rx " So it makes your brain get bigger while it makes your testicles get smaller. I guess that proves that matter can't be created or destroyed.

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lumps?! (1)

The Queen (56621) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616154)


Crap, I just brewed a pot of Swiss Chocolate Almond, and now I'm feeling myself for lumps.

Wanna know the mystical secrets of caffiene? Come check out JavaScopes [] .

The Divine Creatrix in a Mortal Shell that stays Crunchy in Milk

For the last time.... (1)

DonkPunch (30957) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616155)

It's ESPRESSO, not expresso. Expresso isn't even a real drink. Get it right!


(Hmmm. Maybe I've had one too many cuppacinos....)

Caffeine: the next wonder supplement (1)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616156)

With all this research into the beneficial nature of caffeine, I'm surprised that the vitamin nuts haven't gone all bozo. Every time someone announces a study that shows that some off-the-shelf drug store quackery is good at something-or-other, about 50 people write full length novels on the wonders of the stuff, GNC turns a tidy profit, and Michael Jordan does TV spots hawking the extra-overpriced blister pack'd brand.

I'm glad this hasn't been the fate of caffeine. It keeps me awake and that's all I ask. But it doesn't stop there. Through the magik of Slashdot, I found out that not only does it increase my tolerance to ionizing radiation, but it makes me smarter.

Good timing, guys. I have an exam at 4pm and I'm cramming now. To the coffee stand for a double latte!

I know where it came from (2)

crayz (1056) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616177)

Cmdr. Taco is reporting his personal experience with caffeine, YMMV

Re:Caffeine (5)

dkh2 (29130) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616178)

It's all in the balance of neurotransmitters. Being profoundly ADHD and having mastered my condition has lead to a lot of insight into what I can do to keep myself from driving everyone around me bonkers. Caffeine and other stimulants trigger the release of neurotransmitter regulators. These regulators have mainly to do with the reuptake of serotonin and dopamine (among other compounds). Exercise, diet, and meditation can play a very large part in the "normalization" of the ADD/ADHD person.

For the ADD/ADHD person the non-standard (not sub-standard) levels of these are seen through inability to focus and/or inappropriate behavior. Generally 4 approaches are used to "normalize" the person's existence. (1) medication (perferably short term) to provide the chemical support while other coping skills are acquired, (2, 3) adjustments to exercise and dietary routines, and (3) basic meditation skills. (Read up on things like trancendentalism and shamanism. These will not attempt to replace your preferred religeous system but will make your experience of it more meaningful to you.)

Still, nothing beats going off your meds for a weekend of rock concerts and video games!


Eeek! (1)

vr (9777) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616179)

..makes your testicles get smaller.

This can't be good. I think I'll stop drinking coffeinated beverages until I have children.
.. although it would be nice with a larger brain. Hmm..
*sigh* What a difficult choice..

Decisions, decisions... (2)

Cynic (9633) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616180)

>So it makes your brain get bigger while it makes your testicles get smaller.

It'd be interesting to see what everyone would choose if they had to pick one or the other. Rob- How about a poll?


Wohoo! (0)

Erich (151) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616181)

Time to start munchin' on my cases of Penguin Peppermints that just came in the mail... mmm... minty caffinated goodness...

Caffeine-fueled CS! (1)

Kilzall (37495) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616182)

Nothing helps you through one of those monster 30-hour CS projects like a big 64oz sitting on your desk! I don't know if it was the caffeine helping me concentrate or the fact that I had to stop every hour to take a piss, but I did find a correlation between the number of doublequarts I went through and my resulting grade on the project. For the record, my record was 192 oz in 25 hours; if anyone else has beaten that I'd like to hear about it. 8}

Looks like I've been on the right track for YEARS (1)

78spb89 (78849) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616183)

I suppose then, if you're like me, and you program alot, and you drink alot of coffee, and you don't want children, that everything will work out just fine. Several pots of coffee a day keeps everything working smoothly. For instance, I know for a fact that one of my most festering bugs in my older tcp socket setups is in line 562 of con_build.c, if I could just remember how I was told to properly fix it, I could knock out about 25 lines of error checking code. Of course, then I wouldn't be able to remember what line the bug was on, cause it would change, and then I'd just be lost all over again huh? Oh well, I don't suppose I'll ever pick up any women sitting in front of this computer anyhow, so what does it matter if I can remember thier names or not?

So it makes your testicles smaller... (1)

Deitheres (98368) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616184)

... but what if you're a chick?


Child: Mommy, where do .sig files go when they die?
Mother: HELL! Straight to hell!
I've never been the same since.

Re:Bi-polar disorders (1)

twit (60210) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616185)

Symptoms, no; they're different disorders (although they are differential diagnoses of each other).

What has been suggested quite recently in clinical research is that ADHD/ADD as a child or juvenile increases the risk of developing bipolar disorder later in life (bear in mind that the average time of diagnosis for bipolar disorder is in one's late 20's).

One could make arguments as to whether there is a shared cause or that the former causes the latter through some biochemical or even through a social mechanism. Nobody knows what causes either ADD/ADHD or bipolar disorder; it's even possible that there are multiple possible causes producing the same symptomology.

I used to favour the explanation that there was a genetic component to all cases of bipolar disorder; however, right now I would have to demur. Perhaps someone on /. does research in this field; I'm merely an educated layperson.


Woah! Dude! (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616186)

It helps your long term memory, it protects you from radiation! It's the wonder drug that works wonders! It makes the little problem with the little things seem pretty much insignificant, does't it?

Caffeine (3)

jd (1658) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616194)

For a substance that's supposed to be benign, it certainly does a lot. As well as whatever this lot are claiming, it puts ADHD people to sleep (it works in reverse for them), it triggers severe mood swings in Bipolar folk, and it deludes Urban Legend people into thinking Coke contains, well, coke. :)

Actually, it just improves your trivia memory (3)

handorf (29768) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616196)

which is why I know why the Titanic's center propeller was smaller, and the difference between soldering, brazing and welding, and the maximum theoretical efficiency for a heat engine, and...

Now... Where'd I leave my keys?

Not for me (2)

mischief (6270) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616199)

I have a horrible memory, but I've got huge, uh... er... what was I saying?


Jolt cola forever! (1)

Akatosh (80189) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616200)

This explains the popularity with strong caffine among geeks I guess :)
what about alchahol? The best code is always written when drunk or sleep deprived buzzing on caffine, so I guess we'll find a similar study on alchahol some time in the future. Or perhaps its already been done and just been repressed by the government. 10:1 they never teach anyone this nifty fact about caffine in schools.

Interesting... (1)

KaosDG (85348) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616202)

So it makes your brain get bigger while it makes your testicles get smaller.

Those that think with the wrong head should drink more coffee. 8-)

A question (1)

ceeam (39911) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616205)

What about girls?

Re:Caffeine (2)

CokeBear (16811) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616207)

Then I'm guessing that ADD/ADHD people (like me) have some really wierd brain chemistry, because Ritilin, which allows me to concentrate, is actually Methylphenidate, which is a close relative of speed.
So caffine knocks me out, and speed calms me down. Could someone please explain this to me?

Re:A question (1)

Akatosh (80189) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616209)

women are allowed to defy physics :)

Finally a reason to stock up on Mt Dew (1)

tonhe (35552) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616211)

"adding caffeine to the cells raised the level of calcium inside them, causing them to grow about 33% in size" So, can I compound this over time and over multiple instances of Caffeine intake... maybe I should start drinking 2 cases of dew a week?

Re:and in other drugs... (3)

georgeha (43752) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616212)

I guess this explains the retention of memories in the face of my extreme cannabis intake...

I thought loss of short term memory with cannabis was more of a myth. In fact, I almost think I remember reading it one night on the web, I can't remember the url, but the top graphic was nearly the same color as a lucite bong I used to use.


Wow, Americans should be geniuses (1)

HydroCarbon10 (40784) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616213)

Americans should be geniuses when it comes to recall!!! I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but in the ingredients to regular pepsi, caffiene actully comes before the flavoring. I shouln't ever forget anything, ever, mwahaha.

Re:Bi-polar disorders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1616214)

ADD and bi-polar disorders are most likely not linked as you say. There is no large body of scientific research to back your claim.

Re:Caffeine (2)

dkh2 (29130) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616215)

Not freaky, just different.

Imagine your system board working at 200MHz and your video working at 166MHz. You get skips and jumps in the video due to the difference. Give the system more to do with those extra cycles and everything settles down for a nice user experience.


So this means... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1616216)

I see this as a win-win situation for females...

Well, everyone complains that there aren't enough women in techie fields, well Mtn. Dew and coffee is slowly converting male techies into women so that shouldn't be a problem any longer!

Not only does it shrink the male specific organs but it increases brain size? That's two steps closer to being female!


(Really, I'm not trying to be a troll here...)


X Server for WinNT: MI/X (1)

16384 (21672) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616217)

The only free X Server for Windows NT I found is
MI/X and it's quite good actually. Here's a bit of
the FAQ:

This document is available in text-only format as well:
__________________________________________________ _______________

Q: Is MI/X really free?

A: Yes. No strings attached. MicroImages does retain a copyright on
it, however.

__________________________________________________ _______________

Q: Why is it really free?

A: MicroImages gains name recognition and good will. MicroImages
maintains MI/X as the X Server for its professional TNT image
processing, geospatial data management, and desktop cartography
products. In order to make the TNT products work exactly the same on
all Windows, Macintosh and UNIX computers, MicroImages needed a
robust and stable X Server whose future was not in the hands of some
other company. (MicroImages also enjoys the irony that some ARC/INFO
users will run our competitor's product on our free X Server.)

__________________________________________________ _______________

Q: How can I get a copy of MI/X?

A: You can download it from MicroImages' FTP site, or from mirror
The URL to download MI/X from MicroImages' FTP site in Lincoln, NE
U.S.A. is: hqx (for MacOs
68xxx) hqx (for MacOS
--> in the "Free Stuff" section.
Currently, MicroImages has an Australasian mirror for the MacOS
files only. You can download MI/X from this mirror with the two
following URLs: erver-ppc.hqx erver-68k.hqx

Re:A question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1616218)

Girls are too young to drink coffee

Arabica or Robusta, what are _you_ are hooked on? (1)

Eg0r (704) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616219)

This is what the Lavazza [] website has to say about the two:

Coffea Arabica. This African species has been cultivated for many centuries. It grows on mineral-rich soil above an altitude of 600 m. and needs a constant temperature of 20 C; it produces long blue-green beans. The main organoleptic qualities are a markedly acid yet sweet taste, limited body and an intense aroma. It is the most widely cultivated of all beans (70% of world production).

Coffea Robusta. This variety gives an abundant harvest and can be cultivated in the plains, it has good resistance to disease and grows even in difficult conditions. The beans are small and round with a brownish-yellow colour. Originally from the Congo basin, it is widely cultivated in Africa and Asia and is distinguished by its full body and "chocolate" sweetness.

I tend to go for the Lavazza Espresso blend, because I really like the aroma, but I don't have a real espresso machine in my office... yet :-) I think I'll have to wait to be a post-doc for that ;-)

So whether it protects from radiation, improves your memory, or protects you against prostate cancer, who cares????

Coffee smells good, it tastes good and if you really appreciate it, you will certainly drink it black, grind your beans yourself, and keep your coffee in the fridge :-)

I'm a geek alright, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate good coffee!


Re:benefits (1)

Hard_Code (49548) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616220)

You just described me... maybe she's right when she says I'm cranky and short-tempered...

trivialties (1)

RoLlEr_CoAsTeR (39353) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616221)

.. and I can find the derivative of the derivative of f(x)=((3x^3)+sin(x))*cox(4x-5), and I know why Darth Vader wears his bio-suit, and I know "for whom the bell tolls," and...

im-im-I'm evolved!! (2)

kinesis (13238) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616232)

I c-c-can f-f-feelmymemory improving already-ready!!

super-super-humandosesof p-p-pure brainjuice! Ifitake just a a a littlebit m-more i think illhavetelekinetic p-p-powers!!


Re:and in other drugs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1616233)

actually, THC inhibits the transfer from short-term to long-term...

Re:A question (1)

Hard_Code (49548) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616234)

Which brings us to:

If a man is alone in a forest and says something, is he still wrong?

The Caffeine Catechism (2)

ed_the_unready (5193) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616235)

With apologies to Frank Herbert...

"It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion,
it is by the beans of java the thoughts acquire speed,
the hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning,
it is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion."


Revenge of the Geeks (2)

blazer1024 (72405) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616236)

Well, based on responses to somewhat recent stories about brain restoration, brain growth, cybernetics, wearable computers, etc. I expect about 28.21% of Slashdot readers will be intelligent, impotent--and maybe even immortal--cyborgs that never forget anything. :) Gosh that would be fun. :)

Coffee at the Whitehouse. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1616237)


I guess Bill Clinton will have to drink 20 cups of coffee a day.

Another Bill []

Re:Devil in the details (1)

Hard_Code (49548) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616238)

I would like to know to. I take calcium supplements, because, among other reasons, I drink a lot of coffee. Does this mean I am going to inadvertently cause my brain to implode or explode?

Caffiene and Acid Reflux... The cancer connection. (2)

FPhlyer (14433) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616239)

Interesting findings about the various sizes of body parts, but I have another problem with caffiene. I was recently diagnosed with multible hernias and ulcers in my asaphogus caused, among other things, by the over use of caffiene (which contributes to acid reflux disease). No. 20 cups of coffee and seven cokes a day is NOT a good thing for the body. I am now at a greater risk of throat cancer. I am currently on prescription medicine and I must limit my caffiene intake (a serious lifestyle change for someone as addicted as I was).

Just wanted to let you all know... considering how geeks are known for their caffiene habits. This might happen to someone else out there.

By the way, I have heard that caffiene from Gurana (i.e. Bawls) does not have this affect. Can anyone confirm?

Re:For the last time.... (1)

dkh2 (29130) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616240)

You forgot a couple...

Beware the Jabberwock, and nevermind the womraths. (The womraths outgrabe.)


Re:Bi-polar disorders (2)

James Lanfear (34124) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616241)

Bipolar disorder does appear to be genetic. It's certainly hereditary--one of the better established hereditary mental illnesses, in fact--and children of bipolar parents who are later adopted by normals have almost the same incidence of the disease as those who aren't. (That sentence was a bit convoluted....) This implies, rather strongly, that it is genetic, though I could be creative and come up with other explanations.

AFAIK, it's fairly strictly genetic, as well. The diagnostic requirements place environmentally-induced disorders (eg, bipolar due to head-trauma or stress) in a different category, so true Bipolar I/II should be entirely genetic, though the extreme variation in responses to drugs implies that it's either (i) very complex, genetically, or (ii) has a genetic trigger, but is not itself genetic.

(For some reason, this post sucked. I shouldn't try to write just after getting up.)

need more info... need more coffee (2)

mudnux (97604) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616251)

This article does not say that the increase in size or density of dendrites has any effect on memory. It appears to have been inferred by readers from the statement:

"scientists have assumed that changes in the size and shape of these dendritic spines are related to long-term memory, but there has not been any experimental evidence to prove this association."

Even if we forego the lack of experimental evidence, nowhere does it imply that an increase in size or density relates to long-term memory. It only says that a change in size and shape is related.

does increase in size = better long term memory? There is some evidence that chemicals used to increase the size and number of dendrites in a rat's brain have changed a rat's behavior when presented with a new object to explore versus control rats. I saw the oh so non-technical report on one of the network news broadcasts. The scientists claim that this was due to an increase in the rat's ability to remember that the other objects in the cage were already explored. I saw no evidence in the brief news story to suggest that memory had anything to do with the new behavior. My devious mind began to think of other reasons for the new behavior. What if it had actualy affected thier ability to filter out their own smell and once the old object had been explored by them and other rats it had an objectionable odor to them? just one possiblity.

There are many questions this article raise and it answers only one question: What does the direct application of caffine on nerve cells do?: it causes them to release calcium and grow. Much more research is required.

In the meantime I will replace my intravenious caffine drip with a intracraneal drip and find out what I can.

Re:X Server for WinNT: MI/X (1)

Hard_Code (49548) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616252)

Although this is off-topic (dunno how it got posted here), I'm glad to hear it because I've been looking for one!

That explains it ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1616253)

I forgot why my balls were so big ! :)

Re:This may not mean "smarter" (1)

aswang (92825) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616254)

I think proliferation of dendrites would make the synaptic response more efficient. Any particular axon will only synapse with one neuron, and since proliferation only occurs where there are already dendrites, I don't think the neurotransmitter would be diluted in the way you say. Each new dendrite is still part of the same neuron. The increase of efficiency only occurs, of course, only if these new dendrites have all the proper receptors at the same density as the old ones have. This would increase the number of available receptors, and therefore increase the chance that neurotransmitters will bind at the same time, making it more likely that an action potential will occur.

Of course, this still doesn't prove that it has anything to do with memory, and I don't know if I like the other effects of caffeine, like causing muscle tremor and the fact that it has been proven to damage DNA.

Music (1)

Hard_Code (49548) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616255)

Yeah...I think and design best when I'm on caffeine...but I /code/ best with headphones and some good music (Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots are my favorite coding music). It distracts the fidgety part of my mind so I don't wander off and start designing all sorts of other stuff.

Re:Bi-polar disorders (1)

Ted V (67691) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616256)

My source of information is a good friend of mine who is a well known registered nutritionist. (For example, she was invited by the Communist Chinese government to visit China and lecture their doctors. Not only was she allowed into Bejing, but she was also asked to visit some hospitals out in the more rural areas.)

The primary cause of Bipolar disorders is extreme stress. The real "catch" is the definition of stress. Extreme stress could mean chemical stress on the body (eg. using narcotics), emotional stress (eg. going through a divorce), time pressures (eg. Prepare a PhD Thesis defense), and so on.

I think she's been looking into ways to increase the body's ability to cope with stress, which can remove the bipolar disorder. In particular, detecting which bio-chemical disorders appear in bipolar patients and whether fixing those disorders reverse the disorder.


Re:Caffeine (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1616257)

Sorry, I disagree.

Sure caffeine causes mood swings in me,
just like it does for anyone else.
It doesnt cause mania for me (sorry if you
werent trying to imply that)
To those on the outside, I may appear manic
when I drink caffeine.

However, on a caffeine 'high' I can go into my room and write code for hours, and actually be
productive. I cant even accomplish much
on my job without caffeine, its sort of my antidote to the side effects of the prescribed
medicines I take (which make me have zero energy,
zero persistence, ...)

I can't produce anything on a manic high, hell I cant even remember what I did the day before. I have spent enough time in my life in
very unpleasant places related to my manic episodes, that I surely wouldnt drink caffeine
if it would make me go manic.

Re:A question (1)

zantispam (78764) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616258)


If a man is alone in the forest and says something and there is no woman to hear him, is he still wrong?

Re:Revenge of the Geeks (1)

Hard_Code (49548) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616259)

Yes but how much of a deviation is 28.21% impotence from the normal population? Over the last century impotence has skyrocketed, due, supposedly, to electric fields and industrial pollutants...oh yeah, and Mtn. Dew.

Re:Jolt cola forever! (2)

aithien (32819) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616260)

drunk_funk() {
// do later

Re:A question (1)

mochaone (59034) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616262)

Can men ever truly be alone in a world with women? If they're not right there nagging the hell out of you they've impanted some neuro-device in your brain that makes it feel as though they are there.

Women, on the flip side, can make a hell of an omelete.

Re:Does it hurt? (1)

Darth Maul (19860) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616264)

In any case, here at CMU, we'll probly be the first to find out long term effect
of super-caffine-consumption ;)

Boy, that's the truth. Let me just say that
at CMU I had a cappuccino machine in my
dorm room. And it was in quite a used
state after my four years.

Re:Devil in the details (1)

aswang (92825) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616281)

Your intestines and kidneys regulate how much calcium gets to stay in your body anyway, so calcium supplements only have an effect if you have a deficiency. Otherwise, you excrete it. So increasing your intake of calcium won't make your brain collapse, but you might get kidney or bladder stones.

And you're right, the only way to get calcium into your cells is through slow diffusion over time.

Re:This may not mean "smarter" (1)

William Wallace (18863) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616282)

"Wonderful! Now I will be smart, impotent, and resistant to radiation! The evolution of a new human subspecies! "

If you weren't so high on caffeine right now,
surely you'd realize that your impotency would
make your "subspecies evolution" rather short-lived.

Yes, and don't call me Shirley.


Re:Bi-polar disorders (1)

palp (90815) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616283)

Well, I have ADHD (as does my father, possibly inherited) and am bipolar (as is my mother, most likley inhereted). I don't know if there's a relationship between the two or if I am just unlucky.

BTW: Caffine does not really have a reverse effect on me, espresso rocks. However, I don't take Methalphineadate anymore (Never too ritalin, always the generic stuff), and haven't in ~5 years, maybe more, I don't remember (I'm 17 now) So it's quite possible I've gotten slightly past it through early treatment.. anyone know if this is possible ( I started taking Methalphineadate when I was 5, btw)

Re:Caffiene and Acid Reflux... The cancer connecti (1)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616284)

Yes, my doctor told me to avoid caffiene for that reason. But I have less problem with reflux when I drink more iced tea.

Re:Caffeine-fueled CS! (1)

Squid (3420) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616285)

I put down 2 64-oz (2L) jugs of Pepsi a day, DOWN from 4 a couple summers ago. I guess that makes my record just slightly below 256 oz in 24 hours.

I'm gonna need to find a cheap source of replacement kidneys by the time I'm 30, no?

Re:This may not mean "smarter" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1616287)

Actually, study of Einstein's brain has turned up some pretty striking differences between his brain and the average Joe. Maybe you should throw away at least that textbook.

Re:X Server for WinNT: MI/X (1)

Foogle (35117) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616289)

Yeah, it's free but the quality is... eh. Besides, I can't stand to use the built-in twm.


"You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

Arabica and Robusta (1)

Hard_Code (49548) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616290)

Arabica is the "original" coffee bean. It has less caffeine, and a fuller, richer smoother flavor. It is harder to grow and thus more expensive. Sometimes you will see 100% Columbian. I think this means it uses only Arabica beans. Not sure.

Robusta was made so coffee could be grown in more places. It is more robust and can thrive in locations Arabica can't. It has more caffeine, and a bit less "body", and is more bitter than Arabica. It is also a lot cheaper.

Basically your cheap coffee will be chock full o robusta, while the more expensive 100% Columbian, or Supremo will have the higher-quality (IMHO) Arabica beans. That's why coffee always tastes better when you get it from like a restaurant...they use Arabica (or it could just be my imagination).

Memory (1)

Evangelion (2145) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616292)

And I thought I was the only one who could remember the specifics of setting PPP up from 3 years ago, but always forgot to take lunch with him in the morning.

Mmmm... time for my 4th cup of the day...

Memory (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616300)

Yes, I remember reading this before a last Wednesday, just before dinner, while ignoring a jack in the box commercial before the channel 7 news. It is great for long term memory but lousy for short.. was I saying?

Re:A question (2)

georgeha (43752) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616301)

What about girls?

What about girls? I'm so wired on caffeine right now that I'm not even horny, I'd rather find a X-Window for my NT so I can play lincity without leaving my cube to go into the lab.

More seriously, caffeine can cause breast tenderness and lumps, if I recall.


caffeine & calcium (1)

paled (22916) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616302)

This would seem like drinking coffee black wouldn't provide the calcium for the desired growth effect.
Latte vs. Expresso war?

gotta run, time to put on another pot ...

This may not mean "smarter" (3)

konstant (63560) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616303)

Wonderful! Now I will be smart, impotent, and resistant to radiation! The evolution of a new human subspecies!

Actually, if you read the article, you see that the indication of neural growth is in the dendrite fibers. If you don't remember from high school biology, the dendrites are the feathery tentacles on one side of the nerve cell opposite to the long trailing axon on the other. Here's a pic: []

These scientists in Israel have remarked that prolonged exposure to caffeiene promotes growth of the dendrite forest. New dendrite trunks don't sprout, but the ones that alread exist become "leafier". Now, there are many theories about what constitutes a "smart" brain. Repeated study of Einstein's chilled gray blob have failed to turn up any manifest differences from brains of the average population. However, it's generally accepted that the interconnection between cells, handled by the axons and dendrites, has a bearing on our ability to remember data and patterns. The better and more efficient your connections, the faster you can see patterns in your daily experiences, and the smarter you are.

The key word is "efficient". This caffeiene-promoted boost in dendrite growth may be fairly random. If so, then the connections it is forming between cells may not be relevant to efficient pattern retrieval. This would actually slow down your thought processes by weaking the strength of the electrochemical signal along the "correct" pattern pathway. Your axon bodies only release so much neurotransmitter at any given time, so the potency is weakened by a proliferation of recipient dendrites.

Don't throw away your textbooks just yet.


Devil in the details (2)

madrabbit (66534) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616305)

As an avid coffee drinker, I like the news, but there's a lot more research to do. Based on the article, I'm curious what happens in people that take calcium supplements. (The research seems to state that calcium imposed from outside the cell is bad, while releasing it from inside the cell is good -- so what's the good way to get calcium into the cell in the first place, slow diffusion over time?)

The other half of this is that coffee contains something like six or seven dozen different chemicals (if memory serves; it's at least fifty), caffeine is only one of 'em and most of the rest are still unidentified. Translation: we're still not sure what the others do to us...

(Peers over rim of coffee cup) Excuse me, looks like it's time for my next cup.

Livin' on the edge, that's me.

Re:Not for me (1)

Type-R (8130) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616306)

Tracts of land?

Where's the reference to testical size? (1)

Decibel (5099) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616309)

I didn't see it in the article, or is it a reference to an urban legend that I (*gasp!*) haven't heard?

ADD/ADHD brainchem (1)

chialea (8009) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616311)

the theory behind what you're describing is this (as well as I can understand/reproduce it):

ADD/ADHD people are already hyper/overstimulated. so, when you stimulate them some more, it's kinda like an overload, and the net effect is that you wrap around to the other end of the scale, i.e. calm.

however, IANAB (I am not a biologist)


Use In Moderation? (2)

MrHat (102062) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616313)

The findings point to a need for further research into these processes, since they suggest that a modest, temporary rise in calcium levels results in growth and proliferation of these important brain cells, while a larger and more prolonged rise causes the cells to collapse. The implications for long-term memory and learning are not yet clear.

The article seemed to come to the conclusion that an excess of calcium can actually cause brain cells to collapse. Can an excess of caffeine trigger an excess of calcium in the brain? If so, wouldn't caffeine only be good for you in moderation (like most things)?

where does it mention testies? (1)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616315)

I didn't see it mention testies?

It was rather interesting thou. I wonder if because you have longer dendrites if it makes you smarter too? I also wonder ihow it woudl affect children, before puberty? Most geeks after all seem to drink alot of coffee or soda (at least the ones I meet). Any correlation?

Re:A question (1)

Stradivarius (7490) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616320)

Well, if the man is alone in the forest, by the definition of "alone" there is no woman there to hear him :-)

And as to whether he's wrong, probably not. In fact, the reason for him being alone in the forest is probably to get away from a woman who (mistakenly) thought he was wrong :-) I mean really, why else would a guy be wandering a forest *alone*?

Re:trivialties (1)

Haven (34895) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616321)

that equation could be more easily written this way:

f '(f '(f(x)=((3x^3)+sin(x))*cot(4x-5)))

p.s. Remedial calculus is not trivial... It's useless...

Cause / Effect (1)

GeorgeH (5469) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616322)

So it makes your brain get bigger while it makes your testicles get smaller.

Some women I know would claim the former is caused by the latter.


Re:Finally a reason to stock up on Mt Dew (1)

Kraken137 (15062) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616323)

wow, that got me to thinking... my company provides a free fountain drink machine downstairs, and i'm *constantly* hitting the refills. i'd have to estimate that i drink probably 10-15 20oz cups a day...

i think i'll start doing a scientific study of the correlation between my caffeine consumption and the quality of my code :-)

Re:Jolt cola forever! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1616324)

The best code is always written when drunk or sleep deprived buzzing on caffine,
No, you just think it's the best code until you come back to look at it in a year and wonder what the hell you were thinking.

Who Needs Balls Anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1616325)

They're only good for being a convenient punching bag for pissed off girlfriends.

Have a beer instead fellas. You'll at least think you're smarter with bigger balls!

For more information... (2)

Johnath (85825) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616326)

I suggest checking out the Caffeine and Coffee FAQs - click here. []

I also just finished working with the FAQ's maintainer on a trimmed down version for Palm Pilot (in case you eve need to decide between Sugar Free Mr. Pibb and Dr. Pepper striclty on Caffeine content). I don't think he's linked them yet, but you can go to my page [] to get them (in the Palm Pilot section).


For more information... (3)

Johnath (85825) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616329)

I suggest checking out the Caffeine and Coffee FAQs - click here. []

I also just finished working with the FAQ's maintainer on a trimmed down version for Palm Pilot (in case you eve need to decide between Sugar Free Mr. Pibb and Dr. Pepper striclty on Caffeine content). I don't think he's linked them yet, but you can go to my page [] to get them (in the Palm Pilot section).


Re:Caffeine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1616330)

That was a decent response to obvious flamebait! You are a prince and the flamebaiter is a trash!

My fame in mankind has been reaffirmed. I forget how I affirmed it originally, however.

Re:MEEPT!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1616332)

Meept!! I love you!!

Bi-polar disorders (1)

Ted V (67691) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616340)

Actually, all ADHD and ADD cases I've known have been bipolar. There's a lot of evidence that implies these disorders are symptoms of being bipolar.


Re:Jolt cola forever! (1)

RossB (29052) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616341)

What about alchahol? The best code is always written when drunk or sleep deprived buzzing on caffine.

Accutally, I think the best code is done when you're 1/2 asleep, drunk or something else. It keep you concentrating on the code. People that code well are smart, and their mind jumps all over the place. When you're 1/2 asleep your mind can't jump as fast, so you don't loose focus on the code.

The best ideas come when your wide awake, but the code comes when you're a zombie.


To the extreme? (1)

eric2hill (33085) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616342)

Does that mean that if I drink a six-pack of Jolt Cola before I cram for a test that I'll remember the information for years? How about Dew? ;)

No big deal. (0)

gnarphlager (62988) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616343)

I'm not planning on reproducing anyway. Anyone who knows me would agree that it's a good idea ;-)

Re:A question (1)

handorf (29768) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616344)

women are allowed to defy physics :)

And often logic.

Dear, if you're reading this, I love you, dear. :-)

caffine woman! (1)

chialea (8009) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616345)

true enough. does to me.

there are also a whole lot of other bad things that caffine does to you -- just check any Bio 1A text or AP Bio text. it's listed in there, along with the chart describing methods of birth control, including "withdrawal"*

* "Side effects: frustration in some"


Re:Finally a reason to stock up on Mt Dew (1)

zantispam (78764) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616346)

"maybe I should start drinking 2 cases of dew a week?"

2??? Just 2??? Hell, I go through about 5 cases (5*24=120) of Coke a week!

Seriously, though. I think that there is a theoretical limit to this. I can't remember how old I am (22, I think. Wait, no. Ummm...hrmmm. Uhh yeah, 22) and Goddess help me if I misplace my keys...

But let's start explaining the intricacies(sp?) of quantum physiscs or paleantology and I'm there.

Also, as an earlier poster pointed out, what about those in out population without, umm, testicals???

Does it hurt? (1)

underbider (63054) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616347)

Just because it causes this good on a local scale, is it actually goodfor us over all? Using up the stored calcium? Does this wear people out earlier?

In any case, here at CMU, we'll probly be the first to find out long term effect of super-caffine-consumption ;)

Oh no... (1)

Hard_Code (49548) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616348)

Please tell me that you guys are joking when you say caffeine shrinks testicals, leads to breast tenderness, and lumps...


and in other drugs... (1)

twilight30 (84644) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616369)

I guess this explains the retention of memories in the face of my extreme cannabis intake...

Cool! No wonder porn stars are never on Jeapordy. (1)

GhettoFantastic (89457) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616370)

I'll take condom flavors for 800, Alex.

Re:Not for me (1)

mischief (6270) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616371)

No, I think it was something to do with... uhm... Hey, did you hear about that Linux Myths thing Microsoft did?


benefits (2)

jafac (1449) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616372)

Great, so I'll have better long-term memory, I'll be cranky, short-tempered, not sleep well, have headaches when I can't get my fix, my hands will shake so that it's impossible to do fine work, and I'll get anxiety attacks.

No thanks. I'm not going back. Some people can "do" 'ffeine. Others can't.

"The number of suckers born each minute doubles every 18 months."

Wow. Psychology stuff is all coming back to me. (2)

Duke of URL (10219) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616373)

Ok. Here we go. In really basic lame terms.

People with ADD actually have brains that are "craving" stimulation, because their brains are understimulated, there is less going on. It sounds counter-intuitative, but think about it, it makes senese and its biology (bio-psychology). The ADD brain, running low on stimulation wants that extra thing to do to try and get normal in a sense.

So you can see how caffine will calm you down. It stimulates your brain and brings you to normal, so therefore you feel more calm and closer to "normal"

Re:caffeine & calcium (2)

FPhlyer (14433) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616374)

Although many people believe that Caffeine prevents the absorbtion of calcium, this is not necessarily the case. this link [] goes into greater detail on the matter.

Song lyrics (1)

Jimhotep (29230) | more than 14 years ago | (#1616375)

from the article:
"The implications for long-term memory and
learning are not yet clear."

I've been hooked on tea for 24 years now,
but I still have trouble remembering song
lyrics. So maybe it means nothing.
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