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Consumption of glucose drinks slows sensorimotor processing: Double-blind placebo-controlled studies with the Eriksen flanker task

Hope, C, Seiss, E, Dean, PJA, Williams, K and Sterr, A (2013) Consumption of glucose drinks slows sensorimotor processing: Double-blind placebo-controlled studies with the Eriksen flanker task Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 651.

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Modulations of blood glucose concentration (BGC) in the normal range are known to facilitate performance in memory and other cognitive tasks but few studies have investigated the effects of BGC variations on complex sensorimotor task so far. The present study aimed to examine glucose effects with the Eriksen flanker task. This task was chosen because it can dissociate between the effects of BGC on sensorimotor processing and cognitive control by assessing congruency effects. In two linked double-blind placebo controlled experiments BGC was elevated within the normal BGC range (4-7 mmol/litre) by approx. 1.5 mmol/litre with glucose drinks and compared to a placebo drink condition while a flanker task with either strong or weak stimulus-response (SR) mapping was performed. Modulation of the performance in the flanker task by glucose was linked to the strength of the SR mapping but not congruency effects. Under weak SR mapping, reaction times (RT) were slowed in the glucose condition compared to placebo while error rates remained unchanged, whereas cognitive control was not affected by glucose. When SR mapping was strong, no differences were found between glucose and placebo. Enhanced glucose levels differentially affect behaviour. Whereas the literature mainly reports facilitating characteristics of enhanced glucose levels in the normal range, the present study shows that higher glucose levels can slow RTs. This suggests that glucose does not have a uniform effect on cognition and that it might be differential depending on the cognitive domain.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Date : 18 September 2013
Identification Number : 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00651
Related URLs :
Additional Information : This Document is Protected by copyright and was first published by Frontiers. All rights reserved. it is reproduced with permission
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 02 Apr 2014 10:50
Last Modified : 09 Jun 2014 13:42

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