Dope your brain’s dopamine: why coffee helps us to #amwriting

Greetings coffee and word lovers! Got a treat for you. Some coffee news!

So at work, one of my favorite duties is researching coffee for my boss who is head of marketing. Very fun, as you can imagine. I keep coming across articles on how good coffee is for your body. But this article caught my eye.

Because this article, might be the reason many of us writers need a cup of joe or three to get the word count flowing.

Turns out, coffee helps us link words with definitions, more specifically, the positive ones. So this might be especially helpful if you’re writing a happy sort of story, if you’re struggling with the words, get up and brew a cup of coffee! Below is the article, I’ll provide a link as well.

Coffee helps you see the bright side

By Meghan Holohan

“For some people, it’s somewhere between the third or fourth cup of coffee when they begin feeling human. While people commonly guzzle a cup of joe to perk up, it turns out caffeine can do more than simply wake people. Researchers found that caffeine helps the brain process positive words faster.

Caffeine indirectly boosts dopaminetransmission—a neurotransmitter that aids in reward-based learning—and Lars Kuchinke, a junior professor at Germany’s Ruhr University, suspected this might lead to better acumen with word recognition by enhancing activity in the brain’s left hemisphere, which controls language. Researchers already know that people who consume normal levels of caffeine perform better at basic cognitive tasks.

To discern whether a link existed between dopamine and word recognition, Kuchinke asked 66 people to participate in a word test. Thirty minutes prior to the study, half of the participants took a pill, containing about 200 milligrams of caffeine, which equals two or three cups of coffee. The other half ingested a placebo. Then the participants watched a string of letters pop up on a computer screen and quickly had to decide whether each was an actual word or not. Researchers have long known that most people have a natural tendency to recognize positive words faster than neutral or negative words.

“Either positive words are better interconnected in the brain and it is, therefore, easier to recognize them or [the brain] receive[s] some kind of ‘positive’ or rewarding feedback during this process,” says Kuchinke. He also theorizes that negative words might cause the brain to pause, balking at the negative association, meaning a person would not identify it as quickly.

The caffeinated subjects correctly selected more positive words than the people in the control group. Kuchinke theorizes that when caffeine is added to the body it regulates the dopamine transmission in the regions that control decision-making and word comprehension.

“Caffeine may either strengthen connections to regions where positive information and positive feedback are processed so this information is more easily available during the process of word recognition,” he explains. “Or caffeine may simply facilitate the decision process.”

He believes that caffeine specifically impacts the striatum in the basal ganglia, which helps us process positive words and make decisions. But his findings also indicate that dopamine aids in language comprehension.”

So there you have it! The link is provided in the title.

What do you guys think? Think I read it correctly, that the coffee really does help us think of the words? Do you guys drink coffee while writing? Comment below to start a discussion 🙂

Keep brewing, keep writing!

Claire

3 thoughts on “Dope your brain’s dopamine: why coffee helps us to #amwriting

  1. Pingback: How To Feel Motivated and Write 1667 Words a Day During #NANOWRIMO! #MondayBlogs #AmWriting | LMC
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