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Can alcohol improve memory?

26 July 2017 09:06

A study suggests alcohol can improve short term memory

A study suggests alcohol can improve short term memory

Drinking alcohol can help people to recall recently learned information, says a new study.

Around 80 social drinkers were split into two groups in the University of Exeter study, and the findings may surprise you.

Remembering your lines

The two groups were set a word learning task. One of the groups was then told to drink alcohol while the other group were not. When asked a day later to recall the task, the drinkers fared better than those who had remained completely sober.

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What the experts say

The researchers urged caution though, reminding people of the well-known problems that excessive alcohol can cause to physical and mental health.

Professor Celia Morgan said: "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."