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Working Memory

Working memory is the ability to transiently keep information in the brain until it can be processed into longterm memory, and person's with high working memory capacities are said to have a 'steel trap' mind. Some supplements may improve working memory in particular.

Research analysis led by Kamal Patel.
All content reviewed by the Examine.com Team. Published:
Last Updated:

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect working memory
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
grade-b Modafinil Minor Very High See all 5 studies
An improvement in working memory is noted in most persons tested, even otherwise healthy and nonfatigued controls.
grade-b Ginkgo biloba - Very High See all 3 studies
Despite the improvement in short term memory and recall, there does not appear to be a significant improvement in working memory.
grade-c D-Serine Minor - See study
Immediate recall appears to be increased from D-serine when 2.1g is supplemented 2 hours prior to testing.
grade-c L-Tyrosine  
grade-c Marijuana  
grade-c PRL-8-53  
grade-c Phosphatidylserine  
grade-c Polygala tenuifolia  
grade-c Choline  
grade-c Cocoa Extract  
grade-c Coconut Oil  
grade-c Melissa officinalis  
grade-c Nigella sativa  
grade-d Fish Oil  
grade-d Peppermint  

All comparative evidence is now gathered in our ​A-to-Z Supplement Reference.

The evidence for each separate supplement is still freely available ​here.