NCBI ROFL: Lost in the sauce: the effects of alcohol on mind wandering.

By ncbi rofl | October 14, 2009 3:00 pm

“Alcohol consumption alters consciousness in ways that make drinking both alluring and hazardous. Recent advances in the study of consciousness using a mind-wandering paradigm permit a rigorous examination of the effects of alcohol on experiential consciousness and metaconsciousness. Fifty-four male social drinkers consumed alcohol (0.82 g/kg) or a placebo beverage and then performed a mind-wandering reading task. This task indexed both self-caught and probe-caught zone-outs to distinguish between mind wandering inside and outside of awareness. Compared with participants who drank the placebo, those who drank alcohol were significantly more likely to report that they were zoning out when probed. After this increase in mind wandering was accounted for, alcohol also lowered the probability of catching oneself zoning out. The results suggest that alcohol increases mind wandering while simultaneously reducing the likelihood of noticing one’s mind wandering.”

Thanks to Lacie for today’s ROFL!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: ethanol, NCBI ROFL, ridiculous titles
  • Cris

    How do you drink a placebo for alcohol and not know that you're drinking a placebo? If it's not a double-blid test, what's the point of the placebo?

  • Anonymous

    From the article: "participants entered the drink-mixing room, where a researcher was waiting with a tray containing a chilled vodka bottle, a bottle of chilled cranberry-juice cocktail (Ocean Spray), a glass, a graduated cylinder, and a beaker. For participants drinking alcohol, the vodka bottle contained 100-proof vodka (Smirnoff); for those drinking placebo, the vodka bottle contained flattened tonic water (Schweppes). In the placebo condition, the glass was smeared with vodka to enhance credibility…previous work has revealed that this drinking procedure provides for a successful placebo manipulation, the goal of which is to convince participants that they have consumed alcohol (Martin & Sayette, 1993)."

  • Anonymous

    Another technique is to use a very strong peppermint extract to mask the taste of alcohol. Both placebo and alcohol will taste horrible (so I'm told), but one won't know which is which.


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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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