Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New test to help heavy drinkers reduce alcohol intake

Date:
November 27, 2012
Source:
University of Liverpool
Summary:
Researchers have developed a computer-based test that could help heavy drinkers reduce their alcohol consumption.

Researchers at the University of Liverpool have developed a computer-based test that could help heavy drinkers reduce their alcohol consumption.

Related Articles


Regular heavy drinking can lead to serious health conditions such as liver and heart disease, costing the NHS millions of pounds every year.

Methods of restraint

Research at Liverpool has shown that the habit of consuming alcohol can be interrupted when people practice methods of restraint whenever they see images of alcoholic drinks.

The team developed a computer test that required participants to press particular buttons when an image of alcohol or soft drink appeared on screen. They were asked to perform this task at speed, but when they heard a tone sound they were expected to stop immediately.

In one group the tone was presented at the same time as alcohol pictures appeared on screen, and in another group the tone was not matched up to images of alcoholic drinks.

Following the task, participants were given the option of drinking beer. Researchers found that participants who learned to exercise restraint when alcohol images were shown subsequently drank less beer than the control groups that did not practice the same method.

The team aim to develop the computer intervention for online use as part of a wider Medical Research Council (MRC) funded project on computerised interventions to boost self-control in heavy drinkers.

Professor Matt Field, from the University's Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, said: "It is thought that people who drink alcohol at unsafe levels do so because drinking behaviour has become an over-learned habit that they perform without really thinking about it. Similar to the practiced activity of brushing your teeth in the morning, a person may regularly drink a few glasses of wine with their evening meal.

"This kind of habit can lead to serious health problems, and in extreme cases, alcohol dependence.

Exercised self-control

"We wanted to investigate whether a person could learn to apply self-control automatically, in the hope that this might override the ingrained habit of drinking alcohol. We found that if participants repeatedly exercised self-control in response to images of alcoholic drinks, they drank less alcohol when the opportunity was later offered to them in the laboratory.

"We hope to develop this computer intervention to see whether people can use the intervention, outside of the laboratory environment, in their daily lives. This may take the form of an online activity to support those people who want to reduce their intake of alcohol."

The research is published in the journal Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Andrew Jones, Matt Field. The Effects of Cue-Specific Inhibition Training on Alcohol Consumption in Heavy Social Drinkers.. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 2012; DOI: 10.1037/a0030683

Cite This Page:

University of Liverpool. "New test to help heavy drinkers reduce alcohol intake." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127101532.htm>.
University of Liverpool. (2012, November 27). New test to help heavy drinkers reduce alcohol intake. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127101532.htm
University of Liverpool. "New test to help heavy drinkers reduce alcohol intake." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127101532.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) Moms and Dads get a more hands-on approach to parenting with tech-centric products for raising their little ones. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Newsy (Oct. 27, 2014) Researchers have come up with another reason why dark chocolate is good for your health. A substance in the treat can reportedly help with memory. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

AFP (Oct. 27, 2014) Coding has become compulsory for children as young as five in schools across the UK. Making it the first major world economy to overhaul its IT teaching and put programming at its core. Duration: 02:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
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