Aspirin Effects on Emotional Reactions


The aim of this study is to determine whether the drug aspirin has effects on emotional reactivity, emotional memory, and risk-taking behaviors.

Full Title of Study: “Effects of Aspirin on Emotional Reactivity, Memory, and Risk-taking”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Basic Science
    • Masking: Double (Participant, Care Provider)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: October 8, 2021

Detailed Description

The goal of this study is to determine if aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) alters emotional reactions to emotion evoking pictures as well as memory for them. Using a double-blind parallel arm study, participants will receive either placebo or a pain-relieving dose of aspirin (500mg). One hour later they will complete 30 minutes of tasks. This will include ratings of emotional pictures and memory for them. The paradigm is similar to previous experiments done in this lab using other cyclooxygenase inhibitors: ibuprofen and acetaminophen (Durso, Luttrell, & Way, 2015; Psychological Science, Risk taking on the Balloon Analogue Risk Task will also be assessed. Participants will be healthy young adult males at Ohio State University.


  • Drug: Aspirin 500 MG
    • Single 500mg aspirin capsule.
  • Drug: Placebo
    • Single 500mg placebo capsule.

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Placebo Comparator: Placebo
    • Single dose of a 500mg placebo tablet.
  • Active Comparator: Aspirin 500MG
    • Single dose of a 500 mg aspirin tablet.

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Emotional Reactivity
    • Time Frame: 1.5 hours
    • Changes in self-reported evaluations of valence on a 1 to 7 scale and felt reactions to emotional images on a 1-7 scale.
  • Memory
    • Time Frame: 1.5 hours
    • Changes in memory for emotional pictures. After rating the images, the participants will be shown them again as well as new pictures and asked to indicate whether they have seen the picture before or not.
  • Risk-Taking
    • Time Frame: 1.5 hours
    • We will measure the adjusted average number of pumps on the Balloon Analogue Risk Task.

Secondary Measures

  • Individual Differences
    • Time Frame: 1.5 hours
    • Self-reported political ideology will be examined as a moderator of the self-reported ratings of the images as well as memory for them.

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

At least 18 years old and biologically male Exclusion Criteria:

Due to the use of aspirin in this study, women will be excluded from the study due to potential negative effects it may have on pregnancy Participants will also be excluded for the following medical reasons: 1. Having an allergy to aspirin, other salicylates, or any other pain reliever/fever reducer. 2. Having or recovering from a viral infection such as the chicken pox or flu. 3. Having taken aspirin or another NSAID drug (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, or others) within the last 8 hours or plan to take aspirin or another NSAID drug in the 8 hours after the end of the study. 4. Having more than three drinks of alcohol in the 8 hours after completion of the study. 5. Having asthma, hay fever, nasal polyps, or chronic respiratory disease. 6. Impaired liver/kidney or impaired cardiovascular circulation (renal vascular disease, congestive heart failure, volume depletion, major surgery, sepsis or major hemorrhagic events) 7. Active or severe liver or kidney disease. 8. An ulcer, history of ulcers or are prone to bleeding. 9. A history of blood clotting defects. 10. Severe anemia. 11. Taking any of the following drugs: A blood thinning anticoagulant (e.g. warfarin), Digoxin, An Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitor, Methotrexate, An oral glucocorticoid (e.g. hydrocortisone),Valproic Acid, A Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI; e.g. Prozac; Zoloft) 12. Have had stomach ulcers or bleeding problems. 13. Have stomach problems such as heartburn, upset stomach, or stomach pain that does not go away or reoccurs. 14. Surgery in the last week or will have a surgery in the next week. 15. High blood pressure. 16. Diabetes, gout, or arthritis. 17. Low uric acid or Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency.

Gender Eligibility: Male

Must be biologically male to participate in study.

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Ohio State University
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Baldwin Way, Associate Professor – Ohio State University

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