Effects of Soft Drinks on Resting State EEG and Brain-Computer Interface Performance

Jianjun Meng, John H. Mundahl, Taylor D. Streitz, Kaitlin Maile, Nicholas S. Gulachek, Jeffrey He, Bin He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Motor imagery (MI)-based brain-computer interface (BCI) using electroencephalography (EEG) allows users to directly control a computer or external device by modulating and decoding the brain waves. A variety of factors could potentially affect the performance of BCI such as the health status of subjects or the environment. In this paper, we investigated the effects of soft drinks and regular coffee on EEG signals under resting state and on the performance of MI-based BCI. Twenty-six healthy human subjects participated in three or four BCI sessions with a resting period in each session. During each session, the subjects drank an unlabeled soft drink with either sugar (Caffeine Free Coca-Cola), caffeine (Diet Coke), neither ingredient (Caffeine Free Diet Coke), or a regular coffee if there was a fourth session. The resting state spectral power in each condition was compared; the analysis showed that power in alpha and beta band after caffeine consumption were decreased substantially compared with control and sugar condition. Although the attenuation of powers in the frequency range used for the online BCI control signal was shown, group averaged BCI online performance after consuming caffeine was similar to those of other conditions. This paper, for the first time, shows the effect of caffeine, sugar intake on the online BCI performance, and resting state brain signal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8031334
Pages (from-to)18756-18764
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Access
StatePublished - Sep 9 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by NIH under Grant AT009263 and in part by NSF under Grant CBET-1264782.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 IEEE.


  • BCI
  • Brain-computer interface
  • EEG
  • caffeine
  • electroencephalography
  • soft drink


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