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Publication Date

Summer 2018

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Valerie Carr


caffeine, consolidation, DRM paradigm, false memory, memory

Subject Areas



Caffeine is used by many people on a daily basis to enhance wakefulness and cognition, yet the effects of caffeine on long term memory remain underspecified. The literature to date reveals mixed findings with respect to caffeine’s effects on both veridical and false memories. Such variability may be due to differences in methodology with respect to the timing of caffeine administration. Many studies administer caffeine at the beginning of the experiment, prior to encoding, making it challenging to determine the cause of changes in memory performance, which may be due to enhanced encoding, consolidation, or retrieval processes, or due to non-memory related enhancements in arousal or attention. Fewer studies have examined the effects of caffeine on memory consolidation, specifically. Here, we used a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design (n = 39) to determine whether caffeine administered during the consolidation phase affects veridical and false memory assessed 24 hours later using the Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm. Although the caffeine and control groups both showed high rates of veridical and false memories, we found no differences between groups for either type of memory. This study is an important step towards better understanding the degree to which caffeine affects memory consolidation, and may encourage future researchers to similarly isolate caffeine’s influence on other memory processes.