Caffeine is one of the most widely used drugs in the world. In the brain, caffeine acts as an antagonist for the adenosine A1 and A2B receptors. Since A1 receptors are highly concentrated in the cortex of the cerebellum, we hypothesized that caffeine could potentially affect learning tasks that require the cerebellar cortex, such as eyeblink conditioning. To test this hypothesis, we examined the effect of low (5 mg/kg) and high (50 mg/kg) doses of caffeine, injected intraperitoneally before training, on eyeblink conditioning in mice. The results show that, at the dosages we used, caffeine affects neither the rate of acquisition, nor the timing of the onset or peak of the conditioned blink responses. Therefore, we conclude that caffeine neither improves nor worsens performance on eyeblink conditioning.

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Behavioural Brain Research
Department of Neuroscience

Rasmussen, A., IJpelaar, A. C. H. G., de Zeeuw, C., & Boele, H.-J. (2018). Caffeine has no effect on eyeblink conditioning in mice. Behavioural Brain Research, 337, 252–255. doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2017.09.013