Effects of acute caffeine withdrawal on short category test performance in sleep-deprived individuals

William D.S. Killgore, Ellen T. Kahn-Greene, Desiree B. Killgore, Gary H. Kamimori, Thomas J. Balkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Caffeine is a popular stimulant often used to counter the effects of sleep loss and fatigue. Withdrawal from caffeine may produce mild declines in simple cognitive capacities such as attention and concentration, but it is unclear whether more complex cognitive functions, such as abstract reasoning or concept formation, may be similarly affected. To assess the effect of acute caffeine withdrawal on executive functioning during sleep deprivation, 26 healthy volunteers were administered in double-blind form either repeated doses of caffeine or placebo over two nights of continuous wakefulness. The 108-item Short Category Test was administered after 56 hr. of total sleep deprivation (9 hr. post-caffeine administration). The caffeine group scored significantly more poorly, making approximately 57% more errors on the test than the placebo group. These findings suggest that acute caffeine withdrawal during prolonged sleep deprivation has an adverse effect on abstract reasoning and concept formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1265-1274
Number of pages10
JournalPerceptual and motor skills
Issue number3 II SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Dec 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of acute caffeine withdrawal on short category test performance in sleep-deprived individuals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this