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Data from: No enhancement of 24-hour visuomotor skill retention by post-practice caffeine administration


Hussain, Sara J.; Cole, Kelly J. (2015), Data from: No enhancement of 24-hour visuomotor skill retention by post-practice caffeine administration, Dryad, Dataset,


Caffeine is widely consumed throughout the world and appears to indirectly facilitate learning and memory through effects on attention and motivation. Animal work indicates that post-training caffeine administration augments inhibitory avoidance memory, spatial memory, and object memory. In humans, post-training caffeine administration enhances the ability to discern between familiar images and new, similar images. However, the effect of post-training caffeine administration on motor memory has not been examined. Therefore, we tested two groups of low caffeine consumers (average weekly consumption ≤500 mg) in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving acquisition of a continuous isometric visuomotor tracking skill. On Day 1, subjects completed 5 blocks (150 repetitions) of training on the continuous isometric visuomotor skill and subsequently ingested either 200 mg of caffeine or placebo. On day 2, subjects completed an additional 5 blocks of training. Day 1 mean performance and performance variability were both similar between groups, suggesting that both groups acquired the motor skill similarly. For mean performance on Day 2, patterns of re-learning, mean performance learning magnitudes, mean performance learning rates, and mean performance retention magnitudes were all similar between groups. For performance variability on Day 2, there was a small trend towards increased variability in the caffeine group during re-learning, but performance variability learning magnitudes and performance variability retention magnitudes did not differ between groups. Because motor skill acquisition can also be conceptualized as a reduction in performance variability, these results suggest that there may be a small negative effect of post-practice caffeine administration on memory of a newly-learned visuomotor skill. Overall, we found no evidence to suggest that post-training caffeine administration enhances 24-hour retention of a newly-learned continuous visuomotor skill, and these results support the notion that memory-enhancing effects of post-training caffeine ingestion may be task-specific.

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