Friday, 18 November 2011

60-90 Minute Naps VS 200mg Caffeine - Motor Learning & Perceptual Learning

Whilst doing some research into the effects of caffeine on motor skill aquisition I came across one particular study which comes from the department of an old lecturer of mine and caught my attention more than the rest. A study that has come from the Department of Psychiatry & Veterans Affairs in San Diego, California by Mednick (2008) has showed that a 200mg supplement of caffeine significantly impaired motor learning compared to groups which were allowed to nap for 60-90 minutes, and more shockingly compared to a placebo group.

The study investigated three main areas of cognition; 1) verbal memory, 2) motor skill acquisition and 3) perceptual learning.

1) Verbal memory - two verbal memory tasks were administered to all groups of participants, shortly after the tasks there were interventions. 7 Hours later the participants were tested on the verbal memory tasks and the results showed that the "nap" group performed significantly higher in this when compared to the caffeine and placebo group.

2) Motor learning - On this task it was the placebo group who out performed all others - the results in this task were infact quite varied in that the caffeine group appear to have been incredibly impaired. See image below.

3) Perceptual learning - Napping & Caffeine produced high perceptual learning compared to the placebo group.

Interested in reading more? The full PDF can be found here:

1 comment:

  1. A good start; some comments -

    Add a proper reference in APA format at the end, then include the link there.

    This seems like quite a mix of results - caffeine impaired motor learning but enhanced perceptual learning. What were the tasks? In coordination, 'motor learning' actually is perceptual learning, at least according to all our most recent data.

    I'm certainly more intrigued by a caffeine group than I was before :)