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The Effect of Caffeine on Psychomotor Skills

Year: 
2007
Researcher(s): 
Charlene Stanton, Cori Ginter
Institution: 
Ohio Northern University
Discipline: 
Psychology

The vast majority of Americans consume caffeine on a daily basis, and caffeine consumption has been shown to influence autonomic arousal and motor performance. In this study college students (nU) were examined to determine if caffeine affected fine and gross motor skills. Motor performance was measured with specific fine and gross motor tasks and a finger tapping test. Participants consisted of volunteers from undergraduate psychology classes that ranged from freshmen to senior level and were randomly assigned to the control (no caffeine) and experimental (caffeine) groups. Overall results suggest that caffeine did not improve performance, as expected. However, multivariate analysis of variance findings indicated that there was a significant difference in gross motor accuracy between the control and experimental groups when daily caffeine consumption was controlled as a covariate.