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Expression of flavour preferences conditioned by caffeine is dependent on caffeine deprivation state

By Martin R Yeomans, Anne Jackson, Michelle D Lee, Jelena Nesic and Paula J Durlach


Rationale: The acquisition of a caffeine conditioned flavour preference depends on the caffeine deprivation status of subjects during conditioning. It is not known if the expression of an established flavour preference is also state-dependent. Objectives: To determine if the expression of a flavour preference conditioned by caffeine is dependent on the level of deprivation at the time of testing. Methods: In a double-blind placebo controlled study, 44 subjects were given 4 days exposure to a novel flavoured drink following overnight abstinence from caffeine. Half the subjects received caffeine (100 mg) in the drink, while the remainder had placebo (maltodextrin, 100 mg). Subjects rated the pleasantness of the drink each time. On a fifth (test) day, the subjects were given additional caffeine (100 mg) or placebo 2 h before consuming and rating the pleasantness of the drink. Results: Pleasantness ratings for the novel drink increased over the 4 conditioning days in subjects receiving caffeine, but decreased in those given placebo. On day 5, subjects who were trained and tested in the same caffeine deprivation state expressed pleasantness ratings similar to those for the final training day. In contrast, subjects who were trained and tested in different states expressed pleasantness ratings that were significantly different from those of the final training day. Conclusions: These results suggest that the expression of caffeine conditioned flavour preferences are acutely sensitive to current motivational state, and a number of possible explanations are discussed

Publisher: Springer Verlag
Year: 2000
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