Attentional bias for caffeine-related stimuli in high but not moderate or non-caffeine consumers

M. Yeomans, S. Javaherian, H. Tovey, Lorenzo Stafford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rationale Attentional bias for drug-related cues has been reported with a wide range of drugs, but to date the extent to which caffeine consumers show similar biases for caffeine-related stimuli has not been tested. The present study therefore examined this issue in terms of differences in attentional bias for caffeine-related words in High, Moderate and Non-caffeine consumers using a dot-probe word task following overnight caffeine abstinence. Objectives This study was conducted to test whether caffeine consumers show an attentional bias for caffeine-related words, and whether such biases relate to habitual levels of caffeine use. Methods Sixteen High, Moderate and Non-consumers of caffeine were asked to complete a modified dot-probe task in order to measure attentional bias for caffeine-related relative to neutral control word groups. The task was completed following overnight caffeine abstinence, and participants also completed mood and caffeine-craving measures. Results The High consumer group showed a significant attentional bias for the caffeine-related words, but no such bias was seen in Moderate or Non-consumer groups. As expected, craving for caffeine was strongest in the High consumers and weakest in the Non-consumers. Attentional bias in the High group correlated with self-reported caffeine consumption and with craving for caffeine, but neither effect was significant in the Moderate group. Conclusions These data confirm that High caffeine consumers show attentional bias for caffeine-related stimuli, consistent with current theories of drug addiction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-485
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2005


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