To support the free and open dissemination of research findings and information on alcoholism and alcohol-related problems. To encourage open access to peer-reviewed articles free for all to view.

For full versions of posted research articles readers are encouraged to email requests for "electronic reprints" (text file, PDF files, FAX copies) to the corresponding or lead author, who is highlighted in the posting.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Effects of acute alcohol consumption on alcohol-related cognitive biases in light and heavy drinkers are task-dependent

We investigated (1) the effects of alcohol on cognitive biases for alcohol-related cues, (2) the effects of drinking status on alcohol-related cognitive biases and (3) the similarity of any effects of alcohol across two measures of alcohol cognitive bias.

Healthy, heavy and light social alcohol users (
n = 72) were examined in a single-blind placebo-controlled design. Participants received 0.00 g/kg, 0.13 g/kg or 0.40 g/kg of alcohol in a between-subjects design and then completed both a modified Stroop task and a visual probe task.

Modified Stroop data indicated a main effect of cue type, which was qualified by drinking status, with heavier drinkers slower to respond to alcohol-related cues. Visual probe data, in contrast, indicated a significant interaction effect between validity (valid:
alcohol-related, invalid: neutral) and drink condition.

Participants receiving a moderate dose of alcohol (0.40 g/kg) were faster to respond to alcohol-related stimuli compared with participants receiving a low dose of alcohol or placebo.

These data indicate that the cognitive processes assayed by the visual probe and Stroop tasks may not be mediated by a common underlying mechanism.

Read Full Abstract

Request Reprint E-Mail: