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Behav Neurosci. 1999 Jun;113(3):431-8.

Effect of glucose, glucose regulation, and word imagery value on human memory.

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  • 1School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


Changes in memory performance were examined after intake of a glucose (50 g) or saccharin (50 mg) solution in fasted men and women. Glucoregulation was estimated by using a recovery index to categorize participants within each gender as having poor or good recovery. Memory was assessed with word-learning tasks in which the imagery-evoking value of the words was systematically manipulated to yield high- and low-imagery lists. The results showed that men and women characterized as having poor glucose regulation had significantly worse memory performance under the saccharin condition. This decrement was reversed by glucose ingestion. These effects were observed for both low- and high-imagery words. This study supports the hypothesis that poor glucoregulation is associated with poor memory performance even in young healthy participants and that the ingestion of glucose can improve their memory.

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