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Author Topic: Placebo Coffee!  (Read 1093 times)

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Offline DarklingAliceTopic starter

Placebo Coffee!
« on: August 30, 2010, 04:58:37 PM »
So, when hunting down a reference involving inter-lab cooperation on proteomic research I took a wrong turn and found this blog entry. Given E's caffeine addiction I just had to take a moment to share it.

Quote
It showed that people who had caffeine saw a spike in alertness, but didnít necessarily improve for memory or motor learning. In fact, subjectsí ability to learn new tasks actually tanked.The best performance, by and large, came from people who took a few moments out to take a nap.

But the real interesting part of this study was the control group. That is, one group was given a placebo caffeine pill and told it was the real thing. While these people did not perform as well as the group that took naps, they did perform better than the group actually taking caffeine.

This is in keeping with several other studies lately that show that people who drink caffeine decline in their ability to do tasks at the same time that their opinion of that ability goes up. Performance down, opinion of that performance up.
The study itself.

* DarklingAlice Vanishes back into the luminiferous ether to find what she was originally looking for.

Offline Will

Re: Placebo Coffee!
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2010, 07:11:37 PM »
Now if only the placebo would cure the withdrawal symptoms.  Or naps were more practical. -_-

The numbers of subjects seems a little small to me, though I could certainly be wrong.  The study mentions that their control group did inordinately better than that of other similar studies.  I wonder what the differences were in procedure, or whether the group was just too small to account for statistical anomaly.

Honestly though, I'm probably being overly skeptical, since I am very much hooked on caffeine. >.>  That was very interesting, Alice.  Thank you for sharing it. :)

Offline Oniya

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Re: Placebo Coffee!
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2010, 08:34:45 PM »
I wonder if this means I can swap my roommate's coffee for decaf without telling her...  >:)

Offline Kyrsa

Re: Placebo Coffee!
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2010, 11:20:44 PM »
I wonder if this means I can swap my roommate's coffee for decaf without telling her...  >:)

I did that at work once when the office ran out of regular... everyone was cranky and jittery for a week, it was amusing to watch.

Offline Lilias

Re: Placebo Coffee!
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2010, 04:51:03 AM »
I did that at work once when the office ran out of regular... everyone was cranky and jittery for a week, it was amusing to watch.

Did you switch to espresso once they calmed down? >:)

Offline Lypiphera

Re: Placebo Coffee!
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2010, 06:21:27 PM »
I once switched his coffee to decaf... he has ADHD and was convinced he needed coffee to keep him alert, even though it actually made him bounce off the walls most of the time.

Apart from sleeping longer (And much, much better than he had in weeks) there was no difference. He did love me enough to forgive me for fiddling with his beloved brew thank goodness!

Offline Oniya

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Re: Placebo Coffee!
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2010, 06:48:13 PM »
So - is he on decaf full time now?

Offline Lypiphera

Re: Placebo Coffee!
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2010, 06:54:11 PM »
No, but he is only drinking one pot a day now (occasionally two) as he says he needs to wake up in the mornings which is fair enough hehe But before it was 6 or more pots a day with energy and caffeine drinks thrown in on top so its a big improvement!

Offline Oniya

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Re: Placebo Coffee!
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2010, 06:58:54 PM »
O_o

That's like - one of those 5 lb canisters in a week or something.  I've had a canister last me over three months.

Offline Lypiphera

Re: Placebo Coffee!
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2010, 07:07:29 PM »
Yeah I have seriously never met anyone that drank as much so I was expecting him to crash really, really badly but he managed 4, almost 5 whole days just fine, maybe a few shakes but mostly just better sleep :)

Now he says its much better because he can drink more expensive, much nicer coffee and enjoy it rather than having to buy cheap stuff because he drank so much!

Offline Serephino

Re: Placebo Coffee!
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2010, 09:47:25 PM »
Interesting.  I've read that all caffeine does is stimulate your adrenal gland, which I guess would make sense with the not being able to learn new tasks thing.  Adrenaline is a major part of the fight or flight response.  If he was drinking 6 pots a day I can see why he wasn't sleeping well. 

I don't drink it that much; usually once a week.  On Monday mornings I go to Sheetz and get a frozen late because I have to get up at about 6:30 to take my boyfriend into work, which is too early, but too late to go back to sleep.  Most of my caffeine comes from tea, soda, and chocolate.     

Offline Noelle

Re: Placebo Coffee!
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2010, 01:06:40 AM »
In some cases, tanking on performance is better than flat-out sleeping at your job :>

Offline Lypiphera

Re: Placebo Coffee!
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2010, 12:36:57 PM »
In some cases, tanking on performance is better than flat-out sleeping at your job :>

You speak the truth :)

It's also useful for those moments where you just don't have the time to sleep, like deadline days :)