Caffeine's stimulant properties were used to test a proposed processing schema for children's processing stages in the equiprobable auditory go/no-go task. Active control-related ERP components were hypothesized to be differentially enhanced by caffeine. Caffeine (80 mg) was administered in a counterbalanced, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study of 24 children, aged 8-12 years. Four blocks of an equiprobable auditory go/no-go task were completed on each of two occasions, while on or off caffeine. ERP data sets from each condition (caffeine/go, placebo/go, caffeine/no-go, placebo/no-go) were subjected to separate temporal PCAs with extraction and varimax rotation of all components. Caffeine significantly reduced reaction time and go omission errors, and enhanced go PN, N2c, and P3b, and no-go N1-1 and N2b. This selective enhancement of different go/no-go components by caffeine matched the predicted amplification of biomarkers of children's active control processing in this task. Some unexpected findings also support further refinements in the child processing schema.
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