Alcohol helps improve memory, according to researchers from the University of Exeter. While the cause is not fully understood, Professor Celia Morgan told the Telegraph that their “research not only showed that those who drank alcohol did better when repeating the word-learning task, but that this effect was stronger among those who drank more.” The study included 57 women and 31 men ages 18 to 53.
Alcohol Blocks New Info
Morgan says that the leading explanation has something to do with alcohol blocking “the learning of new information” giving the brain more resources to retain “recently learned information into long-term memory.” The theory, according to the professor, revolves around the hippocampus and its reaction to alcohol. It consolidates memories and transfers short-term memory into “longer-term memory.”
While laboratory experiments have been already done before, Morgan’s study tested the theory in the homes of participants where they drank alcohol. It is noted by the lead researcher that this is a more natural setting. Aside from drinking alcohol, the researchers added a second task wherein participants looked at images on a screen. Based on their findings, information learned before drinking alcohol is retained in the brain as if it were a long-term memory.
The retention of said new information was tested again the next day once the participants were sober and the researchers found that the performance was almost the same i.e. no significant difference were seen. The study is published in Scientific Reports.