Normally when you go out and get really wasted, you have trouble remembering just what you got up to the night before, but a new study is challenging that theory and saying that drinking alcohol might actually benefit your cognitive ability.
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The study was conducted at the University of Exeter amongst 88 people. They were all challenged to memorise a list of words and then half of them went out and got wasted whilst the other half went home for the night and abstained. The following day, the group that went and and got drunk performed much better at remembering the words than the other one.
It’s being surmised that the alcohol blocks further learning on the night out, so that the information learned previous to it is retained. Here’s what Professor Celia Morgan had to say about it all:
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.
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.
The theory is that the hippocampus – the brain area really important in memory – switches to ‘consolidating’ memories, transferring from short into longer-term memory.
So I suppose if you want to do well in your exams, the best thing to do is study all day and then go out at night instead of taking it easy and getting an early night so you can do it all again the day after. To be fair, that kinda sounds like what I did during finals and I turned out OK, so there you go – the proof is in the pudding.
For more of the same (kinda), here’s why you should stop drinking Jagerbombs immediately. You have been warned.