U.S. Department of Defense


Date of this Version



Published in Brain and Cognition, 74, (2010), 186–192


Recent work suggests that a dose of 200–400 mg caffeine can enhance both vigilance and the executive control of visual attention in individuals with low caffeine consumption profiles. The present study seeks to determine whether individuals with relatively high caffeine consumption profiles would show similar advantages. To this end, we examined the effects of four caffeine doses (0 mg, 100 mg, 200 mg, 400 mg) on low- and high-level visual attention in individuals with high consumption profiles (n = 36), in a double-blind study using a repeated measures design. Results from the Attention Network Test indicated that caffeine enhanced both vigilance and the executive control of visual attention, but only at the highest administered dose (400 mg). We demonstrate that in habitual consumers high doses of caffeine can produce beneficial changes in visual attention. These results carry implications for the theorized interactions between caffeine, adenosine and dopamine in brain regions mediating visual attention.