December 1974

Alcohol and the Disruption of Cognitive Processes

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, College of Medicine (Ms. Parker and Drs. Alkana and Noble); the Department of Psychobiology (Drs. Alkana and Noble); and the School of Social Sciences (Ms. Parker and Drs. Birnbaum and Hartley), University of California at Irvine.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1974;31(6):824-828. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1974.01760180064008

Memory processes of alcoholic and matched nonalcoholic volunteers were studied under sober, and two alcohol conditions. Alcohol administration significantly impaired registration, recall, and organization in both groups. These processes were differentially susceptible to alcohol's acute effects.

There were no significant differences between groups in the amount of information registered or recalled. However, alcoholics displayed significantly poorer organization under sober and intoxicated conditions, suggesting chronic impairment of abstracting ability due to alcohol.