Using caffeine as a tool to study information processing

Researchers are using caffeine to study how the brain processes information, and a new study shows the effectiveness of this approach. A placebo-controlled study in adults, which uses a simple Go/NoGo task, is published in Journal of Caffeine and Adenosine Research.

The article entitled “Caffeine as a Tool to Explore Active Cognitive Processing Stages in Two-Choice Tasks” was coauthored by Robert Barry, Jack Fogarty, and Frances De Blasio, University of Wollongong, Australia. In the cross-over study, one group of adults was given 250 mg of caffeine before completing a Go/NoGo task, in which they heard one of two tones. If they heard the “Go” target tone, they were to push a button. If they heard the “NoGo” tone they had to process that information and not push the button. The researchers used electroencephalography to measure event-related potential components and explore sequential processing in the individuals with and without caffeine. The study produced a number of novel outcomes, showing caffeine to be a useful tool

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