Study says alcohol can improve memory

25th July, 2017 by Melita Kiely

Drinking alcohol can help improve your memory, according to a new study that showed those who imbibe after learning were able to recall information better.

Alcohol memory study

Drinking alcohol can improve your memory, a new study claims

The study by scientists at the University of Exeter in the UK gave 88 social drinkers a word-learning task to complete.

The participants were divided into two groups at random and told to either drink as much as they liked (with an average consumption of four units) or not to drink at all.

The following day, they were asked to carry out the same task again – and the volunteers who had consumed alcohol the night before were able to recount more of what they had learned.

Researchers stressed the “limited positive effect” is best considered alongside the “well-established negative effects” of excessive alcohol consumption on memory, and mental and physical health.

Professor Celia Morgan, of the University of Exeter, said: “Our research not only showed that those who drank alcohol did better when repeating the world-learning task, but that this effect was stronger among those who drank more.

“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 brand has more resources available to lay down other recently learned information into long-term memory.

“The theory is that the hippocampus – the brain area really important in memory – switches to ‘consolidating’ memories, transferring from short into longer-term memory.”

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