C R Mahoney et al. (2011) Caffeine-induced physiological arousal accentuates global processing biases, Pharmacology, Biochemistry & Behavior, Volume 99.Print this page
The effects of caffeine-induced arousal on global versus local object focus were investigated in non-habitual
consumers using a double-blind, within-subjects, repeated-measures design. Following an overnight fast, low
caffeine consumers (N=36; M=42.5 mg/day caffeine) completed 5 counterbalanced test sessions (normal
consumption, 0 mg, 100 mg, 200 mg, and 400 mg) separated by at least 3 days. During each session,
volunteers either consumed their normal amount of caffeine or were administered 1 of 4 treatment pills. One
hour later they completed two tasks assessing visual attention, in counterbalanced order. Measures of mood,
salivary caffeine and cortisol were taken at multiple time points. Dose-dependent elevation of caffeine in the
saliva demonstrated the experimental manipulation was effective. Furthermore, analyses of the mood and
arousal measures detected consistent changes on arousal subscales and caffeine administration elevated
saliva cortisol. Analyses of the visual attention tasks revealed that caffeine-induced physiological arousal
produced global processing biases, after as little as 100 mg caffeine. These data suggest caffeine consumption
may influence how individuals attend to and process information in their environment and could influence
daily tasks such as face recognition, learning new environments and navigation, especially for those who
normally consume little caffeine.
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