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Clinical Trial
, 96 (2), 191-199

Caffeine Alters Emotion and Emotional Responses in Low Habitual Caffeine Consumers

Clinical Trial

Caffeine Alters Emotion and Emotional Responses in Low Habitual Caffeine Consumers

Grace E Giles et al. Can J Physiol Pharmacol.


Caffeine reliably increases emotional arousal, but it is unclear whether and how it influences other dimensions of emotion such as emotional valence. These experiments documented whether caffeine influences emotion and emotion regulation choice and success. Low to abstinent caffeine consumers (maximum 100 mg/day) completed measures of state anxiety, positive and negative emotion, and salivary cortisol before, 45 min after, and 75 min after consuming 400 mg caffeine or placebo. Participants also completed an emotion regulation choice task, in which they chose to employ cognitive reappraisal or distraction in response to high and low intensity negative pictures (Experiment 1), or a cognitive reappraisal task, in which they employed cognitive reappraisal or no emotion regulation strategy in response to negative and neutral pictures (Experiment 2). State anxiety, negative emotion, and salivary cortisol were heightened both 45 and 75 min after caffeine intake relative to placebo. In Experiment 1, caffeine did not influence the frequency with which participants chose reappraisal or distraction, but reduced negativity of the picture ratings. In Experiment 2, caffeine did not influence cognitive reappraisal success. Thus, caffeine mitigated emotional responses to negative situations, but not how participants chose to regulate such responses or the success with which they did so.

Keywords: anxiety; anxiété; caffeine; caféine; cognitive reappraisal; cortisol; distraction; emotion; emotion regulation; régulation des émotions; réévaluation cognitive; émotion.

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