Changes in caffeine states enhance return of fear in spider phobia

Jayson L. Mystkowski, Susan Mineka*, Laura L. Vernon, Richard E Zinbarg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Treatment of phobias is sometimes followed by a return of fear. Animal and human research has shown that changes in external and internal contexts between the time of treatment and follow-up tests often enhance return of fear. The present study examined whether shifts in caffeine (C) state would enhance return of fear. Participants who were highly afraid of spiders (n = 43) were treated in 1-session exposure-based therapy and tested for follow-up 1 week later. Participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 groups and received either placebo (P) or C at treatment and follow-up sessions: CC, PP, CP, and PC. Results demonstrated state-dependent learning. Participants experiencing incongruent drug states during treatment and follow-up (CP and PC) exhibited greater return of fear than those experiencing congruent drug states (CC and PP).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-250
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Changes in caffeine states enhance return of fear in spider phobia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this