Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
State-dependent learning (SDL) studies often confound the non-drug condition by using a placebo. The current study, investigating caffeine SDL, included both a non-drug condition (hot water) and a placebo condition (decaffeinated coffee) in order to determine whether a placebo could induce SDL. Participants (N=117) consumed coffee with a moderate caffeine content (250 mg), a caffeine placebo (decaffeinated coffee), or water prior to learning three cognitive tasks of varying difficulty and returned the following day to drink the same or different beverage before recalling what they had learned the previous day. No SDL effects for caffeine or a caffeine placebo were detected in this study. However, through collapsing the participants into groups designated by whether or not they consumed caffeine before learning the tasks on the first day, it was found that participants who consumed caffeine before learning the tasks performed better on the moderately difficult task than participants who had not consumed caffeinated coffee before learning the tasks.
Huntsman, Karen, "The effects of caffeine and a caffeine placebo on state-dependent learning of three cognitive tasks in human participants" (2013). Honors Theses. 101.