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Effects of caffeine and noise on mood, performance and cardiovascular functioning

Smith, Andrew Paul ORCID:, Whitney, Helen, Thomas, Marie Ann, Perry, Kate and Brockman, Pip 1997. Effects of caffeine and noise on mood, performance and cardiovascular functioning. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental 12 (1) , pp. 27-33. 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1077(199701/02)12:1<27::AID-HUP827>3.0.CO;2-Y

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An experiment was conducted to examine the effects of caffeine and noise on mood, mental performance and cardiovascular function. One hundred and six young adults (mean age 21·2 years) took part in the study. Subjects were assigned to one of six groups formed by combining noise/quiet and drink (caffeinated coffee, decaffeinated coffee and fruit juice) conditions. Subjects were familiarized with the tasks and then completed a pre-drink baseline session (conducted in the quiet). Subjects were then given either caffeinated coffee (1·5 mg/kg caffeine), decaffeinated coffee or fruit juice. Following consumption of the drink subjects were re-tested 1 h later, either in noise (75 dBA conglomerate noise, consisting of speech, music and machinery noise) or in quiet. The subjects exposed to noise felt more anxious and showed an increase in blood pressure. Their performance of a cognitive vigilance task also declined over time. There were no significant main effects of caffeine, although simple reaction time was quickest in the caffeinated coffee group. Caffeine did not modify the effects of noise on mood, cardiovascular functioning or sustained attention. Indeed, the only interaction between drinks and noise was found in recall and recognition memory tasks, with the caffeine/noise group having better memory performance than the decaffeinated/noise subjects. Overall, the results show that low levels of caffeine do not increase the behavioural and physiological changes observed in a stressful situation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: caffeine; noise; anxiety; performance; mood; cardiovascular function
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0885-6222
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 08:49

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