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Behavioural measures of frontal lobe function in a population of young social drinkers with binge drinking pattern

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-07, 18:23 authored by J C Scaife, Dora Duka
Background: Binge drinking may lead to brain damage. The aim of the present study was to compare the cognitive abilities of binge and non-binge drinkers in tasks which test functions linked to discrete areas of the prefrontal cortex. Methods: Non-binge and binge drinkers were identified according to their binge score derived from the Alcohol Use Questionnaire. Cognitive performance was tested with the Spatial Working Memory task (SWM) linked to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, Intra/Extradimensional Shift and reversal task (IED) linked to dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (shift) and to orbitofrontal cortex (reversal), Paired Associates Learning task (PAL) linked to temporal cortex, and Reaction Time Task (RTI) a task measuring motor impulsivity (Inferior frontal gyrus). Personality traits, alcohol outcome expectancies and mood were also evaluated. Results: Binge drinkers recorded a significantly shorter movement time to target in the RTI, and completed fewer stages on first trial in the PAL, compared with non-bingers. In the IED as well as in the SWM, only female binge drinkers were more impaired than non-binge drinkers. Conclusions: Functions linked to dorsolateral prefrontal cortex may be more impaired in female, whereas functions linked with the temporal lobe may be impaired in both male and female binge drinkers compared to non-binge drinkers. Functions linked to orbitofrontal cortex were not impaired. The increased speed of response in the RTI in binge drinkers may indicate an increased motor impulsivity in binge drinkers.


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  • Published


Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior







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  • Psychology Publications

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