Friday, 12 September 2014

"Brain can classify words while hungover"

From the BBC:

The brain is still active while we are drunk or recovering the morning, say scientists, who found people were able to classify words while under the influence of alcohol.

Researchers from Cambridge and Paris introduced participants to a word test while sober and found they continued to respond correctly after having consumed alcohol. The drunk or hungover brain can perform complex tasks, particularly if the task is automated, the study says. Further research will now focus on how to take advantage of our hangover time.

Writing in the journal Current Biology, the research team set out to study the brain's behaviour while sober, drunk and recovering. Using an electroencephalogram (EEG), they recorded the brain activity of participants while they were asked to classify spoken words as either animals or objects by pressing a button.

Participants were asked to press a button in their right hand for animals and in their left hand for objects. This allowed researchers to track the responses and map each word category to a specific movement in the brain.

Then participants were then asked to consume alcohol in a darkened room and continue the word classification task as they drifted off.