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Brain imaging study uncovers neurophysiology of drunken behavior

April 30, 2008 Brain imaging study uncovers neurophysiology of drunken behavior Todd Bensen Society for Neuroscience -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- New brain imaging research shows that social drinkers experience decreased sensitivity in brain regions involved in detecting threats and increased activity in regions involved in reward after consuming alcohol. The first human brain imaging study of alcohol's effect on the response of neuronal circuits to threatening stimuli appears in the April 30 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. "The key finding is that, after alcohol exposure, threat-detecting brain circuits can't tell the difference between a threatening and nonthreatening social stimulus," said Marina Wolf, Ph.D., of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, who was unaffiliated with the study. "At one end of the spectrum, less anxiety might enable us to approach a new person at a party. But at the other end, we may fail to avoid an argument or a fight. By showing that alcohol exerts this effect in normal volunteers by acting on specific brain circuits, these study results make it harder for someone to believe that risky decision making after alcohol ‘doesn't apply to me'."

See full article and related articles at DiagnosticImaging.com
This article was republished with permission from CMPMedica, LLC

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