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Physiol Behav. 2005 Aug 7;85(5):629-34.

Effect of chronic caffeine intake on choice reaction time, mood, and visual vigilance.

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Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, 2095 Hillside Rd., U-1110, Storrs, CT 06269, USA.


The stimulatory effects of acute caffeine intake on choice reaction time, mood state, and visual vigilance are well established. Little research exists, however, on the effects of chronic caffeine ingestion on psychomotor tasks. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of 5 days of controlled caffeine intake on cognitive and psychomotor performance. Three groups of 20 healthy males (age=22+/-3 years, mass=75.4+/-7.9 kg, body fat percentage=11.2+/-5.1%) twice completed a battery of cognitive and psychomotor tasks: after 6 days of 3 day(-1) caffeine equilibration (Day 6), and after 5 days of experimental (0 [G0], 3 [G3], or 6 [G6] day(-1)) caffeine intake (Day 11). Groups were randomized and stratified for age, mass, and body composition; all procedures were double-blind. Cognitive analyses involved a visual four-choice reaction time test, a mood state questionnaire, and a visual vigilance task. Experimental chronic caffeine intake did not significantly alter the number of correct responses or the mean latency of response for either the four-choice reaction time or the visual vigilance tasks. The Vigor-Activity subset of the mood state questionnaire was significantly greater in G3 than G0 or G6 on Day 11. All other mood constructs were unaffected by caffeine intake. In conclusion, few cognitive and psychomotor differences existed after 5 days of controlled caffeine ingestion between subjects consuming 0, 3, or 6 day(-1) of caffeine, suggesting that chronic caffeine intake (1) has few perceptible effects on cognitive and psychomotor well-being and (2) may lead to a tolerance to some aspects of caffeine's acute effects.

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