Habitual Coffee Consumption Alters Attention and Memory in Older Adults: Significance of Intellectual Workload

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The growing body of evidence indicates that habitual coffee consumption has beneficial effects on brain functions in older adults, but its effects on different aspects of cognitive function are relatively unknown. We analyzed data of 104 elderly men and women to investigate the effects of habitual coffee consumption on attention and memory with respect to participants’ professional intellectual workload (scientists vs. people not engaged in professional scientific activity) and sex. The volunteers completed the Attention Network Test (ANT), the recognition test for geometric figures and syllables, and the test for memorization of dichotically presented words. The ANT test showed that coffee consumption only influenced the alertness system scores and was associated with a decreased number of errors in trials with no warning signal. Coffee consumers also demonstrated higher retrieval of words presented in dichotic listening task; however, only in the group not engaged in professional scientific activity. Recognition memory was not associated with coffee consumption. No tests showed gender-related effects. This study provides evidence that in older adults, the effect of habitual coffee consumption appears task-specific and may be most advantageous in subjects with lower intellectual workload.

Translated title of the contributionПривычное потребление кофе влияет на внимание и память у пожилых людей: значимость интеллектуальной насыщенности среды профессиональной деятельности
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-305
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • attention
  • coffee
  • intellectual workload
  • memory
  • older adults




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