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:10/13/2017)... ... ... While it’s often important to take certain medications during the night, finding ... identified a solution. , She developed a prototype for MOTION LIGHT-UP PILL BOX to ... the need to turn on a light when taking medication during the night, allowing ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... PurhealthRX , a leading Health and Nutrition Company, is ... to full spectrum CBD oil will revolutionize the rapidly growing CBD market by reducing ... easily incorporated into liquid products, while reducing costs to end users. , The team ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Apple Rehab Shelton Lakes , which specializes in the delivery of sub-acute ... of a disaster drill on October 3rd. , Apple Rehab participated with the Shelton ... well as the Connecticut Long Term Care Mutual Aid Plan (LTC-MAP). The LTC-MAP ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... New York, NY (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... most influential people in business to advocate for action towards gender equality at their ... 18,000 views from around the globe, and reached a social audience of over 3 ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... Talented host, actor Rob Lowe, is introducing a ... episode of "Success Files," which is an award-winning educational program broadcasted on PBS ... in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY ) will ... 2017 on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. Lilly will also ... investment community and media to further detail the company,s ... at 9 a.m. Eastern time. Investors, media and the ... conference call through a link that will be posted ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017 The Rebound mobile ... the struggle to reverse the tide of prescription drug addiction. ... regulating their medicine intake and stepping down their dosage in ... to launch in December 2017; the first 100,000 people to ... more at http://www.rebound-solution.com/ ...
(Date:9/27/2017)... -- Commended for their devotion to personalized service, SMP Pharmacy Solutions ... in the South Florida Business Journal,s 50 Fastest-Growing Companies, and ... the national specialty pharmacy has found its niche.  To that ... be honored by SFBJ as the 2017 Power Leader in ... receive his award in October, Bardisa said of the three ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: