Effects of caffeine on anticipatory control processes: evidence from a cued task-switch paradigm.

Zoe Tieges, Jan Snel, Albert Kok, Niels Plat, Richard Ridderinkhof

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Effects of caffeine on task switching were studied using ERPs in a cued task-switch paradigm. The need for advance preparation was manipulated by varying the number of task-set aspects that required switching. In a double-blind, within-subjects experiment, caffeine reduced shift costs compared to placebo. ERPs revealed a negative deflection developing within the preparatory interval, which was larger for shift than for repeat trials. Caffeine increased this shift-induced difference. Furthermore, shift costs increased as a function of the number of task-set features to be switched, but this pattern was not modulated by caffeine. The results suggest that caffeine improves task-switching performance by increasing general effects on task switching, related to task-nonspecific (rather than task-specific) anticipatory processes. Caffeine's actions may be mediated by dopaminergic changes in the striatum or anterior cingulate cortex.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-578
JournalPsychophysiology
Volume44
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2007

Keywords

  • caffeine
  • task switching
  • event-related potential
  • ERP
  • cognitive control
  • dopamine

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