Navigation Links
Pitt study on alcohol reveals drinkers not only zone out -- but also are unaware that they do
Date:5/5/2009

PITTSBURGHA new study out of the University of Pittsburgh suggests that a moderate dose of alcohol increases a person's mind wandering, while at the same time reducing the likelihood of noticing that one's mind has wandered.

The paper, titled "Lost in the Sauce: The Effects of Alcohol on Mind Wandering," explores this phenomenon and is published in this month's issue of Psychological Science.

The study provides the first evidence that alcohol disrupts an individual's ability to realize his or her mind has wandered, suggesting impairment of a psychological state called meta-consciousness. These findings suggest that distinct processes are responsible for causing a thought to occur, as opposed to allowing its presence to be noticed.

Led by University of Pittsburgh professor of psychology Michael Sayette, researchers Erik Reichle, associate professor and chair of Pitt's cognitive program in psychology, and Jonathan Schooler, professor of psychology at University of California, Santa Barbara, studied a group of menhalf of whom had consumed alcohol and half of whom had been given a placebo. After 30 minutes, the participants began reading a portion of Tolstoy's War and Peace from a computer screen. If they caught themselves zoning outhaving no idea what they had just read or thinking about something other than the textthey pressed a key on the keyboard. They also were prompted at intervals, to see if they could be "caught" mind-wandering before they realized it themselves.

The results revealed that while they were reading the text those who had consumed alcohol were mind-wandering without realizing it about 25 percent of the timemore than double that of those who had not consumed alcohol. But as far as "catching themselves" zoning out, those who had been drinking were no more likely to do so than the other group. Participants in the alcohol group would have had many more opportunities to catch themselves because they zoned out more oftenbut they did not. They were impaired in their ability to notice their own mind-wandering episodes.

"Researchers have known for a while that alcohol consumption can interfere with our limited-capacity powers of concentration," said Sayette. "But this "double-whammy,"(i.e., more zoneouts that take longer to recognize) may explain why alcohol often disrupts efforts to exercise self-controla process requiring the ability to become aware of one's current state in order to regulate it."

These findings have potentially important implications for understanding the disruptive effects of alcohol. For example, the observation that alcohol increases mind-wandering suggests another reason why alcohol makes driving dangerousdrunk drivers may lose track of what they are doing.

Moreover, the finding that alcohol reduces meta-consciousness may explain why people drive when they are drunkby reducing their ability to assess their current state, intoxicated people may fail to realize how intoxicated they are and thus inadequately appraise the danger of driving.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sharon Blake
blake@pitt.edu
412-624-4364
University of Pittsburgh
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Penn study finds pro-death proteins required to regulate healthy immune function
2. New study shows promise in reducing surgical risks associated with surgical bleeding
3. Study, meta-analysis examine factors associated with death from heatstroke
4. Study suggests loss of 2 types of neurons -- not just 1 -- triggers Parkinsons symptoms
5. Study says COPD testing is not measuring up
6. Preclinical study suggests organ-transplant drug may aid in lupus fight
7. Ability to cope with stress can increase good cholesterol in older white men, study finds
8. High alcohol consumption increases stroke risk, Tulane study says
9. Mailman School of Public Health study examines link between racial discrimination and substance use
10. Pitt study finds inequality in tobacco advertising
11. Stanford study highlights cost-effective method of lowering heart disease risks
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( ... today the introduction of an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. The ... get maximum comfort while controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... a leader in post-acute health care, have expanded their existing home health joint ... Health. , AccentCare has been operating a joint venture home health company with ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Dr. Parsa Mohebi, ... a medical article to the newly revamped Cosmetic Town journal section, ... hair transplant procedure known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). , Dr. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... Leading pediatric oncology experts at Children’s National Health System ... of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) Oct. 12-15. Chaired by ... Blood Disorders at Children’s National, and Stephen P. Hunger, M.D., Chief of the ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... been named one of Michigan’s 2017 Best and Brightest in Wellness® by Best ... in Wellness® awards program on Friday, Oct. 20 from 7:30 a.m. to 2 ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE: ... drug administration, today announced that it will release third-quarter ... October 26, 2017, and will follow with a conference ... 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. To participate on the call, ... ID is 94093362. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... 11, 2017  Caris Life Sciences ® , a ... promise of precision medicine, today announced that St. Jude ... Oncology Alliance™ (POA) as its 17 th member. ... Jude Crosson Cancer Institute will help develop standards of ... tumor profiling, making cancer treatment more precise and effective. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... , Oct. 11, 2017  Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. ("Hill-Rom") ... Surgical facility in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico ... and blades. ... the facility sustained minor structural damage, temporary loss of ... Repairs have been completed, manufacturing operations have resumed, and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: