A cup or two of coffee could boost the brain’s ability to store long-term memories, claim researchers in the United States. People who had a shot of caffeine after looking at a series of pictures were better at distinguishing them from similar images in tests the next day, the scientists found. The task gives a measure of how information is stored in the brain, which helps with a process called pattern separation which can be crucial in everyday situations. Michael Yassa, a neuroscientist who led the study at Johns Hopkins University, said the ability to separate patterns was vital for discriminating between similar scenarios and experiences in life. — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2014