health-news

Drinking alcohol breaks brain connections responsible for perceiving social cues

Washington, Aug 30 : A new study has revealed that acute alcohol intoxication reduces communication between two areas of the brain that are responsible for perceiving social cues.


K. Luan Phan from University of Illinois at Chicago professor of psychiatry and colleagues examined alcohol's effects on connectivity between the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex during the processing of emotional stimuli - photographs of happy, fearful and angry faces - using functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI.

Participants were 12 heavy social drinkers with an average age of 23. Their reported average of 7.8 binge drinking episodes per month - defined as consuming five or more drinks for men, and four or more drinks for women -put them at high risk for developing alcohol dependence.

The participants were given a beverage containing either a high dose of alcohol (16 percent) or placebo. They then had an fMRI scan as they tried to match photographs of faces with the same expression.

When participants processed images of angry, fearful and happy faces, alcohol reduced the coupling between the amygdala and the orbitofrontal cortex, an area of the prefrontal cortex implicated in socio-emotional information processing and decision-making.

The researchers also noticed that alcohol reduced the reaction in the amygdala to threat signals - angry or fearful faces.

Phan said that if the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex, which have a dynamic, interactive relationship, are uncoupled, as they are during acute alcohol intoxication, then our ability to assess and appropriately respond to the non-verbal message conveyed on the faces of others may be impaired.

The study was published in the journal of Psychopharmacology.

--ANI (Posted on 30-08-2013)

health-news headlines

McDonaldisation of gym culture spreading fast: Study

New drug to treat depression?

Now, the ICU comes home - at a fraction of the cost (Health Feature)

Malnutrition not priority for most parties: CRY

Testosterone levels in womb may impact your health

Bone marrow can cure blood disorders

Heart's development doesn't stop with birth

Mothers! Take a break from fish for healthier babies

Pancreatic, biliary cancers difficult to treat: Experts

NHC showcase bone marrow transplant to cure blood disorders

Probiotic use for infant colic 'not effective in reducing symptoms'

Laugh your way to improved short-term memory

Quick Links: Goa | Munnar | Pondicherry | Free Yearly Horoscope '2014

Comments

Your e-mail:


Your Full Name:


Type verification image:
verification image, type it in the box

Message:

Back to Top