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Younger, drunk, and fast: Paradoxical rapid reaction time in hazardous drinkers.

Powell, A, Sumnall, H and Montgomery, C (2023) Younger, drunk, and fast: Paradoxical rapid reaction time in hazardous drinkers. Journal of psychopharmacology (Oxford, England). p. 2698811231177216. ISSN 0269-8811

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Open Access URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/02698811231177216 (Published version)


Research consistently links hazardous alcohol use with reduced cognitive function but is less consistent with regard to processing speed, which underpins many cognitive functions. Using vibrotactile perception to assess cognitive function may have benefits over other sensory stimuli, as this method gives lower variability in reaction time (RT) and shorter latency.<h4>Aims</h4>This study aimed to assess performance on vibrotactile simple and choice RT tasks between hazardous and non-hazardous drinkers.

Participants (<i>n</i> = 86) completed vibrotactile tasks and alcohol, mood and subjective function (Executive Function Index (EFI)) questionnaires. Multivariate analyses of covariance were performed on average RT scores, and on EFI scores, to investigate function, and a bivariate correlation assessed the relationships between subjective and objective measures.

Hazardous drinkers exhibited significantly faster choice RT. With regard to subjective executive function, Strategic Planning and Impulse Control were significantly better in non-hazardous drinkers. Finally, Organisation and Impulse Control both significantly positively correlated with choice and simple RT, indicating that as subjective function improved, RT increased (a decline in performance).

These results are considered in the context of the premature ageing hypothesis, impulsivity and the impact of alcohol use on various neurotransmitter systems. Furthermore, the poorer subjective function in young hazardous drinkers indicates a possible metacognitive deficit, increased effort or issues with vibrotactile perception as a cognitive function assessment in this group.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cognitive function; executive function; alcohol; hazardous alcohol use; vibrotactile perception; 11 Medical and Health Sciences; 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences; Psychiatry
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Divisions: Psychology (new Sep 2019)
Public Health Institute
Publisher: SAGE Publications
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2023 15:24
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2023 15:30
DOI or Identification number: 10.1177/02698811231177216
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19608

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