Alcohol can boost your memory
Nope, we’re not kidding. Although we usually call on alcohol to help us forget something (a recent break-up or that time we answered, “Good, thanks” when someone said, “Hello”), UK researchers have found that the odd tipple could actually improve your memory.
Alcohol? Good for us? Tell us more!
In a study published by Scientific Reports, scientists from the University of Exeter asked a bunch of volunteers to take part in a word-learning exercise. After the activity, the researchers split the volunteers into two groups and asked them to either drink as many bevvies as they wanted or to not drink at all (tough luck, group number two). The following day, all the volunteers were quizzed on the words they learned the previous day, and the experts found that those who drank alcohol remembered way more words than those who didn’t.
Apparently, once you start drinking, alcohol limits the amount of new information your brain absorbs, which means it has more time to consolidate the memories you made before rosé o’clock. In the case of the experiment, the learned words were moved into the volunteers’ long-term memory after they got their drink on, making the new vocab easier to recall the next day. If they didn’t consume any alcohol, the volunteers were exposed to a lot more stimuli (we’re thinking a lot of drunk talk), so they couldn’t remember as many words.
Before you take this as an excuse to bulk-buy some bevvies for the weekend, hold up. The experts said the memory-boosting effects of alcohol aren’t enough to outweigh the negative ones (chronic disease, weight gain, diabetes, etc), so it’s still best to drink in moderation. Particularly after you learn some new info. Pre-exam cocktails? Er, if science says so?