CR4® - The Engineer's Place for News and Discussion®


The Engineer's Notebook Blog

The Engineer's Notebook

The Engineer's Notebook is a shared blog for entries that don't fit into a specific CR4 blog. Topics may range from grammar to physics and could be research or or an individual's thoughts - like you'd jot down in a well-used notebook.

Previous in Blog: Engineering the Perfect Bathroom   Next in Blog: Is Microsoft Killing Off Paint?
Close
Close
Close
27 comments

Thanks for the Memories, Alcohol!

Posted July 29, 2017 12:00 AM by M-ReeD
Pathfinder Tags: alcohol memory

Good news, booze lovers: a recent study is debunking the long-held belief that alcohol diminishes memory.

The study, from the University of Exeter, split 88 social drinkers (31 males and 57 females between the ages of 18 and 53) into two groups: those allowed to drink as much as they wanted and those not allowed to drink at all. Both groups were given a word-learning exercise that they were expected to repeat the following day after (in some cases) a night of drinking had passed.

Shockingly, those who drank the night before remembered more about the word-learning exercise than the folks who didn’t have anything to drink at all.

Even more surprising, according to researchers, is that those who drank the most did even better than people who had fewer drinks and those who didn’t drink at all.

But don’t get too excited. This is not exactly news to promote an increase in drinking for healthy brain function (although let’s get someone to work on that study).

Professor Celia Morgan of the University of Exeter explains:

"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, while you can rest assured that you will retain what you learned before a night out on the town, don’t expect to process anything new or vital learned while drinking.

The research is published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Reply

Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 18957
Good Answers: 1104
#1

Re: Thanks for the Memories, Alcohol!

07/29/2017 1:44 AM

Rather misleading....

__________________
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. A.E.
Reply
Participant

Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 1
#8
In reply to #1

Re: Thanks for the Memories, Alcohol!

07/30/2017 6:19 AM

That's correct, But what is the physics of that phenomenon?

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 18957
Good Answers: 1104
#9
In reply to #8

Re: Thanks for the Memories, Alcohol!

07/30/2017 2:51 PM

Well I can't say for certain, but I can guess that alcohol reduces REM level sleep time....lack of a deep sleep level may approximate to short term memories not being processed into learning and instead remaining in short term memory, like taking a nap instead of a good night's sleep, does little to clear the mind's slate of unprocessed memories....in other words your train of thought has not left the station....

__________________
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. A.E.
Reply
Guru
Safety - Hazmat - New Member United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member Engineering Fields - Chemical Engineering - Old Hand

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Posts: 13030
Good Answers: 148
#20
In reply to #9

Re: Thanks for the Memories, Alcohol!

08/02/2017 10:23 AM

In some cases, the train of thought has been derailed, and the tracks bent around trees.

__________________
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just build a better one.
Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Baytown Tx. USA where you get your gasoline,chemicals,plastics and floods
Posts: 259
Good Answers: 5
#2

Re: Thanks for the Memories, Alcohol!

07/29/2017 5:12 AM

Yep! Now where are my car keys.

__________________
formally known as texasron (proud to be an Aggy)
Reply
2
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 5628
Good Answers: 559
#3

Re: Thanks for the Memories, Alcohol!

07/29/2017 8:24 AM

I forgot how many beers I had - the Heineken Uncertainty Principle.

Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
Guru
Safety - Hazmat - New Member United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member Engineering Fields - Chemical Engineering - Old Hand

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Posts: 13030
Good Answers: 148
#21
In reply to #3

Re: Thanks for the Memories, Alcohol!

08/02/2017 10:24 AM

Does this mean if you confine the beer's positions very precisely, then the beer temperature is totally uncertain also?

__________________
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just build a better one.
Reply
2
Guru
Technical Fields - Technical Writing - New Member

Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Near Delaware Water Gap
Posts: 1305
Good Answers: 84
#4

Re: Thanks for the Memories, Alcohol!

07/29/2017 8:56 AM

I doubt vodka is the answer, but it's worth a shot.

Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
Guru
CR4 Admins - CR4 Moderator - CR4 Moderator United States - Member - New Member Popular Science - Cosmology - New Member Technical Fields - Education - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: East Greenbush, NY
Posts: 687
Good Answers: 11
#12
In reply to #4

Re: Thanks for the Memories, Alcohol!

07/31/2017 8:53 AM

I want to give this a Good Answer but I'm afraid someone will find out I said it and jump to some inaccurate conclusions .

Reply Off Topic (Score 3)
Guru
Safety - Hazmat - New Member United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member Engineering Fields - Chemical Engineering - Old Hand

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Posts: 13030
Good Answers: 148
#22
In reply to #12

Re: Thanks for the Memories, Alcohol!

08/02/2017 10:26 AM

I have no idea how your answer could be considered "Off-Ti[hic]poc[hic]"

I say we all vote Best in Show back on the boards for that answer! Gosh a mighty, can't we have opinions any more?

__________________
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just build a better one.
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Chicago
Posts: 2161
Good Answers: 69
#5

Re: Thanks for the Memories, Alcohol!

07/29/2017 11:20 AM

I must have had a good time last night? I can't remember anything.

-Viv' (Adrian Edmondson)

__________________
High Tolerance is Beautiful
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 5628
Good Answers: 559
#6

Re: Thanks for the Memories, Alcohol!

07/29/2017 1:41 PM

My life was a complete shambles until I turned to alcohol, but now I've turned it around 360 degrees...

Reply
Guru
Safety - Hazmat - New Member United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member Engineering Fields - Chemical Engineering - Old Hand

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Posts: 13030
Good Answers: 148
#23
In reply to #6

Re: Thanks for the Memories, Alcohol!

08/02/2017 10:27 AM

Does that mean that now it is only a periodic shambles?

__________________
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just build a better one.
Reply
Active Contributor

Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 13
Good Answers: 1
#7

Re: Thanks for the Memories, Alcohol!

07/30/2017 12:32 AM

My logic tree suggests

1. Performance enhancing drugs abused in sports will start to find their way into uni cramming. I am sure entrepreneurs can find drugs that are really good at switching the hippocampus to 'consolidating' memories.

2. Those people who are better at learning new information may be handicapped when it comes to 'consolidating' memories. This puts the whole concept of writing exams as a test of ability as wrong. A system of rating those who are the worst at learning new information as the best students is silly.

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 18957
Good Answers: 1104
#11
In reply to #7

Re: Thanks for the Memories, Alcohol!

07/30/2017 5:37 PM

I think that branch may have been broken off the tree and now lies on the ground....learning new information, no matter how irrelevant or mind numbingly boring, is the whole idea...You may be confusing the issue with intelligence....certainly testing a bored student with a written exam is no indication of intelligence...Identifying those students who could learn random information, have certain qualities that are/were desirable in the workforce...probably still true in a lot of areas....

__________________
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. A.E.
Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru
Safety - Hazmat - New Member United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member Engineering Fields - Chemical Engineering - Old Hand

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Posts: 13030
Good Answers: 148
#24
In reply to #7

Re: Thanks for the Memories, Alcohol!

08/02/2017 10:28 AM

Before you wipe out one system, any ideas about proposing a better one?

That system actually appears to have worked for the last, I don't know, at least 200-300 years.

__________________
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just build a better one.
Reply
Active Contributor

Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 13
Good Answers: 1
#26
In reply to #24

Re: Thanks for the Memories, Alcohol!

08/02/2017 10:53 AM

Professor Celia Morgan reckons that when the brain is inhibited it switches to 'consolidating' memories, transferring from short into longer-term memory. Backing up your hard drive. By that logic one can presume the phenomena could apply to any brain activity, be it new learning or reasoning. Does that mean those with active brains are severely handicapped with longer-term memory like and inability to learn new languages? - a consequence from failure to back up your hard drive. By using drugs (presumably best whilst sleeping) that inhibit brain activity the brain switches to 'consolidating' memories, transferring from short into longer-term memory – problem solved?

Reply
2
Guru
Engineering Fields - Mechanical Engineering - New Member Fans of Old Computers - TRS-80 - New Member Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Safety - Hazmat - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member United States - Member - New Member

Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Detroit MI, USA
Posts: 2041
Good Answers: 204
#10

Re: Thanks for the Memories, Alcohol!

07/30/2017 3:49 PM

If this was true, I would have a photographic memory by now.

__________________
How we deal with death is at least as important as how we deal with life. --CAPTAIN KIRK, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
Active Contributor

Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 10
#18
In reply to #10

Re: Thanks for the Memories, Alcohol!

08/02/2017 9:04 AM

Do not worry about it. I have a photographic memory, the only problem is that it seems to have run out of film.

Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru
Safety - Hazmat - New Member United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member Engineering Fields - Chemical Engineering - Old Hand

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Posts: 13030
Good Answers: 148
#19
In reply to #18

Re: Thanks for the Memories, Alcohol!

08/02/2017 10:22 AM

I can relate.

__________________
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just build a better one.
Reply
Guru
Safety - Hazmat - New Member United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member Engineering Fields - Chemical Engineering - Old Hand

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Posts: 13030
Good Answers: 148
#27
In reply to #10

Re: Thanks for the Memories, Alcohol!

08/02/2017 12:01 PM

I think yours is more "etched" memory!!!

__________________
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just build a better one.
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - Wannabeabettawelda

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 4122
Good Answers: 230
#13

Re: Thanks for the Memories, Alcohol!

07/31/2017 11:12 AM

. . . and alcohol probably has helped create some 'memories' as well.

Reply
2
Guru
Engineering Fields - Mechanical Engineering - New Member Fans of Old Computers - TRS-80 - New Member Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Safety - Hazmat - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member United States - Member - New Member

Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Detroit MI, USA
Posts: 2041
Good Answers: 204
#14
In reply to #13

Re: Thanks for the Memories, Alcohol!

07/31/2017 11:22 AM

And some children........

__________________
How we deal with death is at least as important as how we deal with life. --CAPTAIN KIRK, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
Anonymous Poster #1
#15

Re: Thanks for the Memories, Alcohol!

07/31/2017 11:57 AM

Reply
2
Power-User

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 170
Good Answers: 10
#16
In reply to #15

Re: Thanks for the Memories, Alcohol!

07/31/2017 2:30 PM

I will take another, thank you.

Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
Guru
Safety - Hazmat - New Member United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member Engineering Fields - Chemical Engineering - Old Hand

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Posts: 13030
Good Answers: 148
#25
In reply to #15

Re: Thanks for the Memories, Alcohol!

08/02/2017 10:30 AM

Thank God, I have to raise my glass to that one. Make it Jack Daniels this time.

__________________
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just build a better one.
Reply
Guru
Safety - Hazmat - New Member United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member Engineering Fields - Chemical Engineering - Old Hand

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Posts: 13030
Good Answers: 148
#17

Re: Thanks for the Memories, Alcohol!

08/01/2017 10:45 AM

If loss of memory were a fact, how would the "Alkie" know where he stashed his bottle of Jim Beam (out in the garage, under that box of Playboys).

__________________
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just build a better one.
Reply
Reply to Blog Entry 27 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

Anonymous Poster (1); BestInShow (1); Brave Sir Robin (1); eddyodiase (1); harley (1); James Stewart (9); JE in Chicago (1); JPool (2); Nelson Hozman (1); Rixter (2); ronc (1); SolarEagle (3); sue (1); tonylampard (2)

Previous in Blog: Engineering the Perfect Bathroom   Next in Blog: Is Microsoft Killing Off Paint?

Advertisement