Working memory is our thinking ability that focuses on memory in action. The ability to remember and employ relevant information while working on an activity. For example, a cook is using their working memory as they recall the steps of a recipe while cooking a meal.
Researchers at University of Basel in Switzerland have found that green tea extract enhances the cognitive functions, increases the brain’s effective connectivity and in particular the working memory. The research suggests hopeful clinical implications for the treatment of cognitive impairments in psychiatric disorders such as dementia.
“Our findings suggest that green tea might increase the short-term synaptic plasticity of the brain,” said professor Stefan Borgwardt from Psychiatric University Clinics in Basel.
During the study, healthy male volunteers received a soft drink containing several grams of green tea extract before they solved working memory tasks and the results showed they were significantly better for working memory tasks after the admission of green tea extract.
This was confirmed when the men were analysed how this affected the brain activity of the men using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The MRI showed increased connectivity between the parietal and the frontal cortex of the brain. These neuronal findings correlated positively with improvement in task performance of the participants.
In the past, the main ingredients of green tea have been thoroughly studied in cancer research. Recently, scientists have also been inquiring into the beverage’s positive impact on the human brain, said the study published in the journal Psychopharmacology.