Feeling fine after one drink? Your brain's not
20 March 2018 By Honor Whiteman Fact checked
by Jasmin Collier
If, like me, you enjoy the occasional glass of wine in the evening, you probably don't feel as though your judgment or alertness is impaired after this one drink. But according to a new study, it is.
Researchers find that just one drink can interfere with decision-making.
Yep, that's right. Researchers say that we don't need to guzzle an entire bottle of vino for our cognition to suffer; just a single alcoholic drink has the power to mess with our minds — we're just not aware of it..
Drinking impairs decision-making
So, how does a single drink affect our brain waves and overall cognition? Well, the study found that drinking doesn't appear to affect our beta waves. When it comes to theta waves, however, it's a different story.
After drinking just one cocktail, study subjects showed a reduction in theta wave frequency: they fell to almost half the frequency of those who drank the orange juice. In the task itself, the cocktail was found to reduce subjects' color-matching accuracy by 5 percent, although their reaction times were unaffected by alcohol.
The researchers say that their findings suggest that even a single alcoholic drink can impair our ability to make decisions, though we're not aware of it. Importantly, because our motor control appears unaffected by alcohol, we're likely to proceed with certain physical actions, under the illusion that we're making the right choice.
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