Attentional bias to caffeine-related cues: The role of caffeine abstinence
Attentional Bias (AB) refers to the phenomenon in which drug-related cues differentially capture the attention of the drug user, but across various drugs there has been little research on how abstinence affects AB. This is an important gap in knowledge because it is possible that an AB to drug cues may be exacerbated in a state of abstinence, and thus could interfere with drug cessation attempts. AB was assessed via an Emotional Stroop Task (EST) for high-caffeine consumers using a within-subjects design: participants were assessed after consuming a 250 mg dose of caffeine and a placebo. Little evidence for AB was found and the EST scores did not relate to urge, mood, and withdrawal symptoms. After ingesting coffee, whether caffeinated or containing a placebo, participants showed enhancements for the EST, urge, mood, and withdrawal symptoms.