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Appetite. 2016 Oct 1;105:156-63. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2016.05.021. Epub 2016 May 20.

Investigating the effects of caffeine on executive functions using traditional Stroop and a new ecologically-valid virtual reality task, the Jansari assessment of Executive Functions (JEF(©)).

Author information

1
School of Psychology, University of East London, Water Lane, London, E15 4LZ, UK. Electronic address: k.soar@uel.ac.uk.
2
School of Psychology, University of East London, Water Lane, London, E15 4LZ, UK.
3
Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London, Lewisham Way, London, SE14 6NW, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Caffeine has been shown to have effects on certain areas of cognition, but in executive functioning the research is limited and also inconsistent. One reason could be the need for a more sensitive measure to detect the effects of caffeine on executive function. This study used a new non-immersive virtual reality assessment of executive functions known as JEF(©) (the Jansari Assessment of Executive Function) alongside the 'classic' Stroop Colour-Word task to assess the effects of a normal dose of caffeinated coffee on executive function.

METHOD:

Using a double-blind, counterbalanced within participants procedure 43 participants were administered either a caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee and completed the 'JEF(©)' and Stroop tasks, as well as a subjective mood scale and blood pressure pre- and post condition on two separate occasions a week apart. JEF(©) yields measures for eight separate aspects of executive functions, in addition to a total average score.

RESULTS:

Findings indicate that performance was significantly improved on the planning, creative thinking, event-, time- and action-based prospective memory, as well as total JEF(©) score following caffeinated coffee relative to the decaffeinated coffee. The caffeinated beverage significantly decreased reaction times on the Stroop task, but there was no effect on Stroop interference.

CONCLUSION:

The results provide further support for the effects of a caffeinated beverage on cognitive functioning. In particular, it has demonstrated the ability of JEF(©) to detect the effects of caffeine across a number of executive functioning constructs, which weren't shown in the Stroop task, suggesting executive functioning improvements as a result of a 'typical' dose of caffeine may only be detected by the use of more real-world, ecologically valid tasks.

KEYWORDS:

Caffeine; Cognitive; Executive function; JEF(©); Mood; Stroop

PMID:
27215836
DOI:
10.1016/j.appet.2016.05.021
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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