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Nutr Neurosci. 2009 Feb;12(1):21-7. doi: 10.1179/147683009X388896.

Caffeinated coffee enhances co-operative behavior in the Mixed Motive Game in healthy volunteers.

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  • 1Department of Applied Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, SAR, China.


Caffeinated drinks are commonly consumed in social gatherings. However, their effects on social behavior remain unclear. The present study examined the effects of caffeinated coffee on antidepressant-related co-operative behavior. Seventy-seven low-caffeine users took part in a randomized, double-blind, cross-over study of single dose of caffeinated coffee (150 mg caffeine) and decaffeinated coffee (9 mg caffeine) with at least a 3-day washout period. In each session, participants were asked to imagine a fictitious person and play the Mixed Motive Game with that person 45 min after coffee consumption. Heart rate, blood pressure, and state moods were measured at baseline and at 45 min post-coffee consumption. After caffeinated coffee, participants exhibited significantly higher blood pressure. They also allocated significantly fewer scores to themselves and sent significantly more sadness message during the game. These results suggest that caffeinated coffee may help to improve social support and depressive symptoms.

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