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A new study says coffee makes you happy

A new study shows that extra dopamine transmission from caffeine boosts brain activity and gives us a more positive outlook, overall.

By Briana Rognlin for

Today’s caffeine communiqué brings good news for coffee lovers: Apparently, your daily cup o’ joe makes you happier–and not just because it tastes good. It was already known that caffeine indirectly boosts dopamine transmission (the ‘happy’ neurochemical) in the brain, but German researchers found that the added dopamine action also enhances word recognition skills–and makes us recognize and process positive language even faster. So, make it a double latte?

The researchers gave a 200mg caffeine pill to a test group 30 minutes before they were asked to perform a word recognition test, whereby they were asked to quickly judge whether a string of letters on a screen made an actual word or not. People are already more inclined, on average, to recognize positive words faster than neutral or negative words. But the caffeine-boosted test subjects recognized more positive words than a control group who’d been given a placebo 30 minutes before the test.

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