Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Buzz Off!

You probably remember a night when you and some friends were out at a club or bar somewhere and a drunk guy (or girl!) started coming onto you and just wouldn't take 'no' for an answer? No matter how many dirty glares or cold shoulders you gave him or her?

Turns out there could be a scientific reason for that. It has to do with what happens to the brain when we get drunk. Researchers at Chicago School of Medicine have found that alcohol intoxication prevents the brain from properly understanding social signals. (Is that the point, I wonder?)

Anyway, test subjects were all considered heavy social drinkers (bingeing about twice a week) with an average age of 23. They were either given a strong drink (16% alcohol) or a placebo, then they were asked to try to match photographs of people with angry, happy or fearful expressions to the correct mood.

After a fMRI scan, the lab coats found that the two areas responsible for interpreting social signals (the amygdala and the orbitofrontal cortex) did not communicate as effectively when someone's been drinking, so these people had trouble matching the expressions to the correct mood. They especially didn't react to angry or fearful faces in a typical way - which is why that guy/gal just kept coming onto you that night.

Plus, yeah, you're irresistibly hot. Everyone knows that.

Here's the full article from Medical News Today. Or you can read more in your September issue of Psychopharmacology when that comes in the mail. ;) The September issue? That's always the big one, right? Enjoy!