Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Jennifer Berry


Caffeine is one of the most widely used psychoactive stimulants in the world and is often used in combination with other substances. The combination of caffeine and alcohol has been shown to induce a stimulated, rather than sedated state, which may result in increased alcohol-attributable accidents (e.g., drunk driving, unprotected sex, and over intoxication). Preclinical research has found mixed results regarding the co-consumption of caffeine and alcohol – some found that caffeine increases alcohol intake while others the opposite. The current study expanded on previous research by testing the effects of combined caffeine and alcohol exposure in a binge-like, mouse paradigm. It was anticipated that the mice would consume larger amounts of alcohol in combination with caffeine compared to consuming either alcohol or caffeine alone. The present study explored drinking behaviors in 24 adult C57BL/6J mice using an intermittent access 2-bottle choice paradigm. Singly-housed mice were presented with one bottle of tap water and one bottle of tap water with incrementally increasing concentrations of alcohol (3-20% v/v), caffeine (0.01-0.05% w/v), or a mixture of alcohol and caffeine every other day. The amount of liquid consumed from each bottle was recorded at the same time every day and, approximately 24 hours after the last drinking day, mice were videotaped to assess somatic signs of alcohol or caffeine withdrawal. We hypothesized that mice in the combined alcohol and caffeine condition would drink more than the other conditions and that their physical dependence, as evidenced by increased somatic signs, would be greater than after consuming either drug alone.

Included in

Psychology Commons