Young binge drinkers less able to learn new verbal information

July, 2011

Binge drinking university students, regardless of gender, performed more poorly on tests of verbal memory, but not on a test of visual memory.

Following animal research indicating that binge drinking damages the hippocampus, and other research showing that this learning and memory center is still developing during adolescence, a new study has investigated the effects of binge drinking on learning in university students. The study, involving 122 Spanish university students (aged 18-20), of whom half engaged in binge drinking, found a clear association between binge drinking and a lower ability to learn new verbal information.

Specifically, binge drinkers were more affected by interference in the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, and remembered fewer words; they also performed worse on the Weschler Memory Scale-3rd ed. (WMS-III) Logical Memory subtest, both on immediate and delayed recall. However, there were no differences between the two groups on the WMS-III Family Pictures subtest (measuring visual declarative memory).

These results persisted even after controlling for other possible confounding variables such as intellectual levels, history of neurological or psychopathological disorders, other drug use, or family history of alcoholism.

The genders were evenly represented in both groups. Interestingly, and in contradiction of some other research, women were not found to be more vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects of binge drinking.

Reference: 

Related News

Problems with myelin — demyelination (seen most dramatically in MS, but also in other forms of neurodegeneration, including normal aging an

There have been a number of studies in the past few years showing how poverty affects brain development and function.

Adding to the growing evidence for the long-term cognitive benefits of childhood music training, a new study has found that even a few years of music training in childhood has long-lasting benefits for auditory discrimination.

A large long-running New Zealand study has found that people who started using cannabis in adolescence and continued to use it for years afterward showed a significant decline in IQ from age 13 to 38. This was true even in those who hadn’t smoked marijuana for some years.

In contradiction of some other recent research, a large new study has found that offering students rewards just before standardized testing can improve test performance dramatically.

I’ve mentioned before that, for some few people, exercise doesn’t seem to have a benefit, and the benefits of exercise for fighting age-related cognitive decline may not apply to those carrying the Alzheimer’s gene.

A three-year study involving 3,034 Singaporean children and adolescents (aged 8-17) has found that those who spent more time playing video games subsequently had more attention problems, even when earlier attention problems, sex, age, race, and socioeconomic status were statistically controlled.

A review of 10 observational and four intervention studies as said to provide strong evidence for a positive relationship between physical activity and academic performance in young people (6-18).

Benefits of high quality child care persist 30 years later

Is there, or is there not, a gender gap in mathematics performance? And if there is, is it biological or cultural?

Pages

Subscribe to Latest newsSubscribe to Latest newsSubscribe to Latest health newsSubscribe to Latest news