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Memory. 2017 Oct;25(9):1225-1234. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2017.1282968. Epub 2017 Feb 16.

Caffeine cravings impair memory and metacognition.

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a Division of Psychology, School of Medicine , University of Tasmania , Launceston , Tasmania , Australia.
b Division of Psychology, School of Medicine , University of Tasmania , Hobart , Tasmania , Australia.


Cravings for food and other substances can impair cognition. We extended previous research by testing the effects of caffeine cravings on cued-recall and recognition memory tasks, and on the accuracy of judgements of learning (JOLs; predicted future recall) and feeling-of-knowing (FOK; predicted future recognition for items that cannot be recalled). Participants (Nā€‰=ā€‰55) studied word pairs (POND-BOOK) and completed a cued-recall test and a recognition test. Participants made JOLs prior to the cued-recall test and FOK judgements prior to the recognition test. Participants were randomly allocated to a craving or control condition; we manipulated caffeine cravings via a combination of abstinence, cue exposure, and imagery. Cravings impaired memory performance on the cued-recall and recognition tasks. Cravings also impaired resolution (the ability to distinguish items that would be remembered from those that would not) for FOK judgements but not JOLs, and reduced calibration (correspondence between predicted and actual accuracy) for JOLs but not FOK judgements. Additional analysis of the cued-recall data suggested that cravings also reduced participants' ability to monitor the likely accuracy of answers during the cued-recall test. These findings add to prior research demonstrating that memory strength manipulations have systematically different effects on different types of metacognitive judgements.


Cravings; feeling-of-knowing (FOK); judgements of learning (JOL); memory; metacognition

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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