Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Alcohol increases reaction time and errors during decision making

Date:
October 20, 2010
Source:
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research
Summary:
There has been an abundance of research on the effects of alcohol on the brain, but many questions regarding how alcohol impairs the built-in control systems are still unknown. A new study explores that subject in detail and found that certain brain regions involved in error processing are affected more by alcohol than others.

There has been an abundance of research on the effects of alcohol on the brain, but many questions regarding how alcohol impairs the built-in control systems are still unknown. A new study released in the January 2011 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, which is currently available at Early View, explores that subject in detail and found that certain brain regions involved in error processing are affected more by alcohol than others.

Related Articles


According to Beth Anderson, a postdoctoral fellow at the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Centre at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut and lead author of the paper, this research is only the first step in a much larger process."Alcohol is widely consumed in our society today. We know it alters behavior, but surprisingly it is not well studied at the brain level. Once we understand how it is altering the brain, we can better inform the public of the consequences of drinking alcohol."

The researchers gave 38 volunteers different doses of alcohol to establish a breath alcohol concentration of zero for the control group, 0.05 per cent for moderate intoxication, or 0.1 per cent for a high level of alcohol intake. Then, once the alcohol was given enough time to cause intoxication, the volunteers participated in a Go/No-Go reaction test, where either the letters "K" or "X" were displayed on a screen with specific instructions to only press a button when an "X" was displayed.

In the experiment, there was no significant data between the control and moderate intoxication, but there were some very interesting results discovered between the control and high dose testing. After receiving the highest level of alcohol, individuals were found to have an increased reaction time, more errors and an overall decrease of successful trials.

According to Anderson, the lack of data regarding the moderate doses of alcohol was likely due to the fact that the participants were able to partially compensate for the effects of the alcohol. However, following the higher dose, individuals would have had a much more difficult time achieving that. "The increased reaction time was likely an attempt to compensate for their impairment. They may have slowed down in an attempt to keep from making more errors."

However, these results still yield more questions regarding the mystery of how alcohol impairs the control centers of the brain, and only more research will be able to help solve this complicated problem.

"We know [alcohol] alters behavior, but surprisingly, it is not well studied at the brain level," Anderson said. "Once we understand how it is altering the brain, we can better inform the public of the consequences of drinking alcohol."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Beth M. Anderson, Michael C. Stevens, Shashwath A. Meda, Kathryn Jordan, Vince D. Calhoun and Godfrey D. Pearlson. Functional Imaging of Cognitive Control During Acute Alcohol Intoxication. Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, 2010; DOI: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2010.01332.x

Cite This Page:

Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. "Alcohol increases reaction time and errors during decision making." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101019162149.htm>.
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. (2010, October 20). Alcohol increases reaction time and errors during decision making. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101019162149.htm
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. "Alcohol increases reaction time and errors during decision making." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101019162149.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

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
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. 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