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A new study shows drinking alcohol can actually improve your memory

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If you’re drinking to forget, you’re doing it wrong.

A new study from the the University of Exeter says alcohol can actually boost memory.

Researchers tested two groups of people with a one word learning task. The study’s participants were 31 males and 57 females, aged 18-53. Once the first group learned the word they were allowed to get drunk. The second group had to remain sober.

After analyzing the data, they determined that those who drank alcohol could remember more of what they learned than the group that stayed sober. They say alcohol may block further learning so the brain retains what it just learned.

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

The study reveals it doesn't matter what kind of alcohol you pull off the racks, the effects will take place. The study also found the more alcohol the better people's retention because alcohol causes the brain to shut down the section that records new information while drinking, which makes room for new information to be stored.

“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 brain has more resources available to lay down other recently learned information into long-term memory."
Professor Celia Morgan, University of Exeter

The researchers also stressed that people should keep in mind the negative effects of excessive alcohol on memory and mental and physical health.

Click here to read the whole study, entitled, “Improved memory for information learnt before alcohol use in social drinkers tested in a naturalistic setting."

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