Sunday, 22 May 2005

This presentation is part of: Pre-College Reseach Posters

The Effects of Ginkgo and Caffeine on Learning and Memory

Nina Lee, Millburn High School, Millburn, NJ

The objective of the study is to test the effects of Ginkgo biloba extract and the combination of ginkgo and caffeine on learning and memory function. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) were used in the experiments since zebrafish are vertebrates and their genome is very similar to those of humans. The fish were divided into 3 groups: a control group, a ginkgo-fed group and a ginkgo plus caffeine-fed group. Their learning behavior and memory function were examined by teaching the fish a simple spatial alternation task with food as the reward. During the experiments food was delivered on alternating sides of the fish tank at constant time intervals. The animal's achievement of the spatial learning and memory tasks was represented by its presence at the correct side of the tank at food delivery. The results from the learning experiments showed the ginkgo group's responses indicated a higher correct response rate than the control group and the ginkgo plus caffeine group. The ginkgo group had a 8.2% higher success rate than the other two groups. The correct response rate of the ginkgo plus caffeine group did not show any significant difference than the control group. From the memory experiments, all three groups indicated about the same memory retaining results. The ginkgo and caffeine appeared have no effect on the memory retention function.

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