Impact of the sensory and postprandial properties of energy drinks on cognition

Mason, C. (2012) Impact of the sensory and postprandial properties of energy drinks on cognition. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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The impact of energy drinks and their ingredients on cognitive functioning has been of considerable scientific interest in recent years; however studies investigating cognitive effects of energy drink consumption have centred on the postprandial impact, that is the influence of their ingredients once absorbed into the blood. It is possible however, that sensory perception of these drinks, or their ingredients can influence cognition.

The four studies outlined in this thesis aim to examine the influences of sensory perception of energy drinks in human volunteers and compare these with the effects observed in the postprandial period on a range of cognitive tasks.

Postprandially energy drink treatments were observed to reduce reaction times and improve accuracy compared with a placebo control in a saccadic peripheral conflict task when a 200ms gap was present between a pre-stimulus cue and the stimulus; however when this gap was absent accuracy decreased, suggesting treatment had affected information processing and decision making processes. Sensory perception of a non-carbonated energy drink was observed to improve reaction time and accuracy in a manual choice reaction time task irrespective of gap presence, however an artificially sweetened placebo energy drink had similar effects, but only when the pre-stimulus gap was present.

This thesis demonstrates that energy drinks can influence behavioural performance not only by increasing plasma glucose and caffeine levels in the postprandial period, but also through chemosensory perception, an effect elicited by the reward value of taste and flavour perception which is perhaps related to the calorific content of carbohydrates.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Hort, J.
Jackson, S.
Subjects: T Technology > TP Chemical technology > TP 368 Food processing and manufacture
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Biosciences
Item ID: 14459
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2014 09:28
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2016 12:01

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