Why Alcohol is Good For Your Memory - Yes, It's True!

University experts wanted to test if alcohol really could improve your memory rather than hinder it so they decided to put it to the test. The study was called   'Improved memory for information learnt before alcohol use in social drinkers tested in a naturalistic setting' and was completed by drunks between the age of 18-53. 

All participants were tasked with learning a series of words, the participants were then split into a group of two where one group was allowed to drink as much as they saw fit, and the other group, well, they weren't allowed to drink at all. Can you imagine applying for a drinking study only to find you couldn't drink, ah well, we can't win them all can we. 

University experts at Exeter in the UK had previously tried a smaller-scale study in the lab but they wanted a quantitative approach which was more natural in order to ensure the results were more accurate. 

The researchers believed that those who drank alcohol could remember a series of works or similar tasks better than those who didn't because the hippocampus (which is the area in the brain that creates and consolidates memories) kicks into gear. Instead of creating memories, the hippocampus switches to consolidating memories which in turn, saves snippets of learned information into short term memory. 

But how does alcohol play its part in that creation? 

Well, it blocks the learning of new information and therefore the brain stores the resources to come back to. So while you may be drunk and not learning, your brain has stores those snippets of information (that you should have learned) for a later day. I.e alcohol makes your brain soak in information for use when you are sober.

It was found that the next day, along with an atrocious hangover, the ones that drunk alcohol had remembered what they had learned and the results were mixed on the non-drinking group. Overall it was found that word tasks were stored far more effectively than image tasks as the groups were also given an image task to try to learn also. 

How do you feel about this study? 

I find it really interesting how something that is notorious for hindering your memory is able to produce such results. It's going to cause a lot of issues for those who cheat and say ''they can't remember'' isn't it. 

Oh, and if you fancy a drink while studying, you should check out my post on Drinks by The Dram, Deadhead Rum and My Favourite Rum Brands to get you in the mood for err, learning. 

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