Glucose enhancement of human memory: A comprehensive research review of the glucose memory facilitation effect

Michael Smith, Leigh Riby, Anke van Eekelen, Jonathan Foster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The brain relies upon glucose as its primary fuel. In recent years, a rich literature has developed from both human and animal studies indicating that increases in circulating blood glucose can facilitate cognitive functioning. This phenomenon has been termed the ‘glucose memory facilitation effect’. The purpose of this review is to discuss a number of salient studies which have investigated the influence of glucose ingestion on neurocognitive performance in individuals with (a) compromised neurocognitive capacity, as well as (b) normally functioning individuals (with a focus on research conducted with human participants). The proposed neurocognitive mechanisms purported to underlie the modulatory effect of glucose on neurocognitive performance will also be considered. Many theories have focussed upon the hippocampus, given that this brain region is heavily implicated in learning and memory. Further, it will be suggested that glucose is a possible mechanism underlying the phenomenon that enhanced memory performance is typically observed for emotionally laden stimuli.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)770-783
JournalNeuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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