A study conducted by the University of Exeter recently proved that drinking alcohol improves memory for information learned before the drinking episode began.
The team behind the study used 88 social drinkers, who were given an easy learning task. The group was then split into two and one group was told not to drink, while the other group was told to drink as much as they liked.
The task was repeated the next day and those who had a drink afterwards had remembered more of what they learned.
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“Our 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,” said Professor Celia Morgan, of the University of Exeter.
“The causes of this effect are not fully understood, but the leading explanation is that alcohol blocks the learning of new information and therefore the brain has more resources available to lay down other recently learned information into long-term memory.
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“The theory is that the hippocampus – the brain area really important in memory – switches to ‘consolidating’ memories, transferring from short into longer-term memory.”
It’s well worth mentioning that this phenomenon is not worth trying if you’re cramming for a test. The devastating effects of alcohol abuse on the brain are well documented.