Although alcohol is famous for its ability to make people forget what happened Friday night, a new study showed drinking might actually improve at least one aspect of memory. Specifically, the research showed that drinking helps encode memories, meaning that if you drink right after learning something new, you’ll retain the information better.
Using a combination of word-based and image-based exercises, the scientists tested a group of participants before, during, and after drinking, and compared them to a group of individuals who stayed sober for the duration. Turns out the drinkers did better to a statistically significant level in recall of the word-based exercise the following morning. However, there was no significant difference between the drinking group and the sober group with regard to the image-based exercise.
The results aren’t totally conclusive because of the limitations created by the design of the study (i.e. participants self-reporting, drinking in home without monitoring). Still, the researchers believe the study suggests that drinking alcohol may block new memories from forming, which gives the brain time to encode recent learning.
All this to say, your slacker freshman year roommate might actually have been onto something. We can’t believe it either.
Fancy helping people learn new things? Well, it looks like you’ll need a Texas liquor license, so give our great team of licensing consultants a call today!