The P300 component of the event-related potential (ERP) is a general measurement of "cognitive efficiency". It is an index of the ability of an individual's central nervous system (CNS) to process incoming information. OBJECTIVE: To compare the neuromodulatory effects of caffeine and bromazepam on the visual ERP (P300), in relation to a P300 normative database. METHOD: 15 right-handed individuals (7 male and 8 female), between 20 and 30 years of age, healthy, free of any cognitive impairment and not making use of psychoactive substances were studied. Participants were submitted to a visual discrimination task, which employed the "oddball" paradigm, after the administration of caffeine and bromazepam, in a randomized, double-blind design. RESULTS: Statistically significant differences were observed when the caffeine and bromazepam conditions were compared to the normative database. CONCLUSION: The present results suggest that caffeine and bromazepam have distinct modulatory effects on CNS functioning.
event-related potential; P300; caffeine; bromazepam