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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©)

Soar, Kirstie; Chapman, Emma; Lavan, N; Jansari, Ashok S. and Turner, John. 2016. 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©). Appetite, ISSN 0195-6663 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

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.

Item Type: Article

Identification Number (DOI):

10.1016/j.appet.2016.05.021

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology

Dates:

DateEvent
20 May 2016Published

Item ID:

18438

Date Deposited:

25 May 2016 10:59

Last Modified:

30 Jun 2017 16:07

URI: http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/18438

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