Subscribe to Boldsky

Can Alcohol Boost Your Memory?

By Staff

Alcohol may improve memory about information learned before the drinking session began, a new study from University of Exeter in Britain has claimed.

The researchers are, however, keen to stress that this limited positive effect should be considered alongside the well-established negative effects of excessive alcohol on memory and mental and physical health.

Although the cause of this effect is not yet known, the researchers explained that alcohol blocks the learning of new information and, therefore, the brain has more resources available to lay down other recently learned information into long-term memory.

"The theory is that the hippocampus, the brain area really important in memory switches to 'consolidating' memories, transferring from short into longer-term memory," said Celia Morgan, Professor at University of Exeter in a paper published in Nature journal Scientific Reports.

alcohol benefits

For the study, 88 social drinkers (31 males and 57 females, aged 18-53) were given a word-learning task.

Participants were then split in two groups at random and told either to drink as much as they liked (the average was four units) or not to drink at all.

The next day, they all did the same task again and those who had drunk alcohol remembered more of what they had learned.

"Our research not only showed that those who drank alcohol did better when repeating the word-learning task, but that this effect was stronger among those who drank more," Morgan said.

In a second task, the participants were asked to look at images on a screen.

This task was completed once after the drinkers had drunk alcohol and again the following day, and the results did not reveal significant differences in memory performance post-drinking.

With Inputs From IANS

For Quick Alerts
Subscribe Now
For Quick Alerts
ALLOW NOTIFICATIONS
For Daily Alerts

    Read more about: alcohol memory
    Story first published: Tuesday, July 25, 2017, 16:12 [IST]
    Subscribe Newsletter
    We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Boldsky sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Boldsky website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more