Effects of alcohol on disinhibition towards alcohol-related cues

Sally Adams, Alia F Ataya, Angela S Attwood, Marcus R Munafò

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background:
We investigated (1) the effects of acute alcohol on inhibition of alcohol-related versus neutral cues, (2) the effects of drinking status on inhibition of alcohol-related versus neutral cues, and (3) the similarity of any effects of alcohol or drinking status across two different cue types (lexical versus pictorial).

Methods:
Participants received 0.0 g/kg, 0.4 g/kg or 0.6 g/kg of alcohol in a between-subjects design. Healthy, heavy and light social alcohol users (n = 96) completed both lexical and pictorial cue versions of an alcohol-shifting task. Participants were instructed to respond to target stimuli by pressing the spacebar, but to ignore distracter stimuli. Errors towards distracter stimuli were analysed using a series of mixed-model ANOVAs, with between-subjects factors of challenge and drinking status and within-subjects factors of distracter type (alcohol, neutral) and block (shift, non-shift).

Results:
Lexical commission error data indicated a main effect of distracter (F [1,90] = 43.25, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.33), which was qualified by a marginal interaction with challenge condition (F [2,90] = 2.77, p = 0.068, η2 = 0.06). Following an acute high dose of alcohol participants made more errors towards alcohol distracters. Pictorial commission error data indicated a significant main effect of distracter (F [1,90] = 67.40, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.43), such that all participants made more errors towards neutral image distracters versus alcohol distracter images.

Conclusions:
Our results reveal acute alcohol's impairment of inhibitory control may be enhanced when a response towards alcohol-related lexical stimuli is required to be withheld.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-142
Number of pages6
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Volume127
Issue number1-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

Keywords

  • adolescent
  • adult
  • alcohol drinking
  • cues
  • double-blind method
  • ethanol
  • female
  • humans
  • male
  • photic stimulation
  • psychomotor performance
  • reaction time
  • young adult

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