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Drug Alcohol Depend. 1999 Jun 1;55(1-2):85-9.

Effects of alcohol cues on cognitive processing in heavy and light drinkers.

Author information

  • 1School of Psychology, University of Wales, Bangor, Gwynedd, UK. m.cox@bangor.ac.uk


The effects of alcohol-related visual cues on cognitive processing in heavy and light social drinkers were assessed. Participants were exposed to either alcohol or control cues while they completed a cognitively demanding emotional Stroop task that used alcohol-related and control words as potential distracters. Heavy drinkers exposed to alcohol cues had significantly slower reaction times on the Stroop task than: (a) heavy drinkers exposed to control cues; and (b) light drinkers exposed to either alcohol or control cues. Results indicate that the effects of alcohol cues on automatic cognitive processes previously found in dependent drinkers' also occur in social drinkers. The magnitude of these effects varies directly with social drinkers' level of habitual alcohol use.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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