A recent study might bring more evidence to support drinking socially. Researchers claim retaining new information gets easier if you consume alcoholic beverages immediately after you are confronted with it. Therefore, alcohol might actually boost one’s memory skills.
- Alcohol does boost memory skills, and helps with the consolidation of new information.
- Research showed how people who drank after learning something new were better at remembering it the next day.
- While drinking, the brain switches to a ’consolidation’ state, where new info moves to long-term memory.
The research has been developed by a team of scientists from the University of Exeter. They took 88 people who drink alcohol socially, and gave them a task which involved learning. Then, these participants were split in two groups.
Those people in the first group were asked to consume as much alcohol as they liked, and the maximum quantity consumed was four units. The second group wasn’t allowed to have any drinks. Next day, they had to perform the same memory task. This is when researchers noticed how those people who had consumed alcoholic beverages remembered more of the new information than the others.
Therefore, drinking is beneficial to improve memory. In fact, those who consumed more drinks scored better in memory tests. It might be a small advantage of drinking, but people should consider it when pondering on positive and negative effects of alcohol.
There is no clear explanation on why alcohol is good for the memory. However, researchers made some suppositions. The brain is not capable of learning while drinking, so it concentrates more on the recent information it has been fed with, sending it to the long-term memory and consolidating it.
This theory has been proved before, but only in lab conditions. Therefore, this is the first time when scientists find solid evidence after people have engaged in drinking in a social and non-experimental environment. All findings have been collected in the journal Scientific Reports.
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