Of all the wonderful things alcohol does for us, one thing we’ve never exactly given it credit for is helping our memory.
Ever had a night where you’ve had just one or two too many? Exactly.
But according to a new study, drinking alcohol could actually improve your memory.
Published in the journal Scientific Reports, the small study of 88 people ages 18 to 53 found that those who drank after taking a word-learning test were better at recalling what they studied than those who didn’t.
After being given the test, they were told to either drink as much as they liked (which was four units on average) or not drink at all.
The next day, they repeated the task, and those who had drunk the day before remembered more of what they’d learned the previous day.
The researchers emphasized that despite this positive effect, people should remember alcohol’s negative effects too.
“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,” Celia Morgan, professor of psychopharmacology at the University of Exeter, told the Telegraph.
“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-term into longer-term memory.”
Will you remember all of that?
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