Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brain Imaging Study Of Drunk Drivers Pinpoints Neurological Changes

Date:
November 22, 2004
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Imaging studies of the brain when it is under the influence of alcohol reveal that different areas of the brain are impaired under high and low levels of alcohol, according to a Yale study published in Neuropsychopharmacology.

New Haven, Conn. -- Imaging studies of the brain when it is under the influence of alcohol reveal that different areas of the brain are impaired under high and low levels of alcohol, according to a Yale study published in Neuropsychopharmacology.

Related Articles


Godfrey Pearlson and Vince Calhoun, researchers in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, used a statistical method to sort areas of the brain affected when persons were administered a placebo or two different doses of alcohol. The seven men and two women then "drove" using a simulated driving skill game.

"What we found is that when people were really intoxicated, they drove like they were really intoxicated and in a real vehicle," Pearlson said. "They speeded up, especially on corners, where most people slow down, and crashed more often into other vehicles." When mildly intoxicated, but below the legal alcohol limit, he said, the drivers seemed aware of the fact that they were impaired and corrected for the deficit. The researchers also found that alcohol had a profound effect on some, but not all, brain circuits activated in sober driving.

The areas most profoundly affected by alcohol were the orbital frontal and anterior cingulate areas, which help control motor functions. The medial frontal regions of the brain involved in making decisions, and working memory, were not affected until the person was beyond the legal limit of intoxication. A function of working memory might be to find one's way home, the researchers said.

Impairment of the cerebellum area of the brain, which related strongly to speeding, was clearly correlated with the alcohol dose. Changes in the frontal and parietal cortex, which govern alertness and attention, were correlated with weaving while driving.

The highest blood alcohol level was 0.1 and the lowest was 0.05. Drivers are considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is 0.08.

###

Citation: Neuropsychopharmacology, Vol. 29 (11): pp 2097-2117 (November 2004)


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Brain Imaging Study Of Drunk Drivers Pinpoints Neurological Changes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 November 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041121215442.htm>.
Yale University. (2004, November 22). Brain Imaging Study Of Drunk Drivers Pinpoints Neurological Changes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041121215442.htm
Yale University. "Brain Imaging Study Of Drunk Drivers Pinpoints Neurological Changes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041121215442.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins