Background: Spontaneous EEG theta/beta ratio (TBR) probably marks prefrontal cortical (PFC) executive control, and its regulation of attentional threat-bias. Caffeine at moderate doses may strengthen executive control through increased PFC catecholamine action, dependent on basal PFC function.
Goal: To test if caffeine affects threat-bias, moderated by baseline frontal TBR and trait-anxiety.
Methods: A pictorial emotional Stroop task was used to assess threat-bias in forty female participants in a cross-over, double-blind study after placebo and 200 mg caffeine.
Results: At baseline and after placebo, comparable relations were observed for negative pictures: high TBR was related to low threat-bias in low trait-anxious people. Caffeine had opposite effects on threat-bias in low trait-anxious people with low and high TBR.
Conclusions: This further supports TBR as a marker of executive control and highlights the importance of taking baseline executive function into consideration when studying effects of caffeine on executive functions.
Keywords: Attentional bias to threat; Caffeine; EEG theta/beta ratio.
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