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April 13, 2011

Study: Alcohol Consumption... Helps You Remember

Great. So now even my only cardio activity of "drinking to forget" is out.

What the hell, man?

Now, they're actually not talking about learning or memory as you think of them. They're talking about making the brain malleable and shapable, and they link this to drug dependency -- when you tweak your brain in this way, you're teaching it, I guess, to like being in that state?

Or something?

Morikawa's study, which found that repeated ethanol exposure enhances synaptic plasticity in a key area in the brain, is further evidence toward an emerging consensus in the neuroscience community that drug and alcohol addiction is fundamentally a learning and memory disorder.

When we drink alcohol (or shoot up heroin, or snort cocaine, or take methamphetamines), our subconscious is learning to consume more. But it doesn't stop there. We become more receptive to forming subsconscious memories and habits with respect to food, music, even people and social situations.

In an important sense, says Morikawa, alcoholics aren't addicted to the experience of pleasure or relief they get from drinking alcohol. They're addicted to the constellation of environmental, behavioral and physiological cues that are reinforced when alcohol triggers the release of dopamine in the brain.

Via Instapundit.

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posted by Ace at 02:51 PM

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