Advertisement

Psychopharmacology

, Volume 91, Issue 2, pp 230–235 | Cite as

Effect of alcohol on rate of forgetting

  • E. A. Maylor
  • P. M. A. Rabbitt
Original Investigations

Abstract

The effect of alcohol (1 ml per kg body weight) on the rate of forgetting was investigated using a continuous recognition memory paradigm. Subjects were required to make a speeded old/new response to each of 200 items presented sequentially on a computer screen. Ninety-five items appeared twice. The numbers of items intervening between the first and second occurrence were 1, 4, 9, 19 and 49 (19 of each). With alcohol, subjects were less sensitive (decreased d-prime) and more conservative (increased beta). Recognition speed and accuracy were both impaired by alcohol and by increasing numbers of intervening items. In addition, an interaction between the effects of alcohol and of delay on recognition accuracy indicates that the impairment of memory with alcohol can be at least partly attributed to faster forgetting.

Key words

Alcohol Memory Recognition 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Birnbaum IM, Parker ES (1977) Acute effects of alcohol on storage and retrieval. In: Birnbaum IM, Parker ES (eds) Alcohol and human memory. Lawrence Erlbaum, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  2. Carroll JB, Davies P, Richman B (1971) The American heritage word frequency book. Houghton-Mifflin, BostonGoogle Scholar
  3. Craik FMI (1977) Similarities between the effects of aging and alcoholic intoxication on memory performance, construed within a ‘levels of processing’ framework. In: Birnbaum IM, Parker ES (eds) Alcohol and human memory. Lawrence Erlbaum, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  4. Hockey R, MacLean A, Hamilton P (1981) State changes and the temporal patterning of component resources. In: Long J, Baddeley A (eds) Attention and performance IX. Lawrence Erlbaum, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  5. Huntley MS (1973) Alcohol influences upon closed-course driving performance. J Saf Res 5:149–164Google Scholar
  6. Jones BM, Jones MK (1977) Alcohol and memory impairment in male and female social drinkers. In: Birnbaum IM, Parker ES (eds) Alcohol and human memory. Lawrence Erlbaum, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  7. Moskowitz H, Murray JT (1976) Alcohol and backward masking of visual information. J Stud Alcohol 37:40–45PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Rabbitt PMA (1982) How do old people know what to do next? In: Craik FIM, Trehub S (eds) Aging and cognitive processes. Plenum, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Rabbitt PMA (1986) Models for effects of alcohol on skilled performance. In: Sanders AF (ed) Proceedings of Aachen symposium on choice reaction time and stress. Lawrence Erlbaum, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  10. Ryback RS, Weinert J, Fozard JL (1970) Disruption of short-term memory in man following consumption of ethanol. Psychonom Sci 20:353–354Google Scholar
  11. Shepard RN, Teghtsoonian M (1961) Retention of information under conditions approaching a steady state. J Exp Psychol 62:302–309Google Scholar
  12. Weingartner H, Murphy DL (1977) State-dependent storage and retrieval of experience while intoxicated. In: Birnbaum IM, Parker ES (eds) Alcohol and human memory. Lawrence Erlbaum, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  13. Wickelgren WA (1975) Alcoholic intoxication and memory storage dynamics. Mem Cogn 3:385–389Google Scholar
  14. Wilding JM (1982) Perception: From sense to object. Hutchinson, LondonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. A. Maylor
    • 1
  • P. M. A. Rabbitt
    • 1
  1. 1.Age and Congitive Performance Research CentreUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

Personalised recommendations