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:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their highest five-star ... , Millions of individuals in the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered ... both correct vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice Levels, a Media Slicing Effect Plugin ... whole new perspective by using the title layers in ProSlice Levels to split-up ... Levels contains over 30 Different presets to choose from. FCPX users can ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Many women are confused ... endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan to not only alleviate symptoms and ... help for preservation of fertility and ultimately achieving a pregnancy. The specialists at ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Miami, FL (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton ... Plant City Observer , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: ... The closing for fumigation is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned ... the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at ... fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... Diagnostic Tests" report to their offering. ... The World Market for Companion Diagnostics covers ... Market analysis in the report includes the following: ... Diagnostic Kits) by Region (N. America, EU, ROW), 2015-2020 ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , Belgium , June 24, ... VNRX), today announced the appointment of Dr. ... Directors as a Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, ... Audit, Compensation and Nominations and Governance Committees.  As ... Futcher will provide independent expertise and strategic counsel ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... report to their offering. ... failure, it replaces the function of kidneys by removing the ... the treatment helps to keep the patient body,s electrolytes such ... Increasing number of ESRD patients & substantial healthcare expenditure on ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: