Drinking coffee might help us look on the bright side of life, according to a new study which shows caffeine can help people spot positive words.
German researchers found that volunteers dosed the equivalent in caffeine of two to three cups of coffee were able to spot positive words more quickly in a series of experiments.
But psychologists found it did not have the same effect when it came to negative words.
Rousing: New research shows that coffee may make drinkers more cheerful by stimulating their response to positive words. Scientists believe it stimulates parts of the brain connected to positivity
Previous studies have shown that people can recognise positive words, images and sounds more quickly than negative ones.
In an effort to understand how this preference for positivity works, the researchers experimented with caffeine, which leads to faster responses and fewer errors in simple mental tasks.
Given this effect, it could be expected that consumption of the drug would help people recognise both positive and negative words more quickly.
IMAGINATION IS THE KEY TO A BETTER MEMORY, STUDY FINDS
Experimental psychologist Lars Kuchinke and his team from Ruhr University, Germany, asked 66 volunteers to decide as quickly as possible whether strings of letters shown on a computer were words.
Half were given tablets containing 200mg of caffeine 30 minutes before testing, equivalent to two or three cups of coffee, while the other half were given a lactose pill that had no effect on results.
The investigators found volunteers who consumed caffeine tablets were 7 per cent more accurate at recognising positive words than other words.
Professor Kuchinke suggested this may be because caffeine particularly stimulates parts of the brain connected to positivity.
'Although caffeine improves some mental functions, our study shows this may be specific for certain types of stimuli, like only positive words,' he said.
Previous studies have shown caffeine probably stimulates the central nervous system by increasing activity of the brain chemical dopamine, which is linked with rewards, creativity, impulsivity and addiction.
These findings suggest the root of the positivity advantage may rest in dopamine.
The findings are detailed in the journal PLoS ONE.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2232277/Coffee-make-happier-Study-finds-people-recognise-positive-words-quickly-dosed-stimulant.html#ixzz2C7vw8Ikp
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