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Alcohol Alcohol. 1999 Jul-Aug;34(4):601-8.

A comparison of cognitive performance in binge versus regular chronic alcohol misusers.

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School of Psychological Science, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia.


One hundred cases of individuals assessed for alcohol-related cognitive performance were examined. The assessment included demographic and alcohol consumption data, as well as performance on tests of auditory verbal learning, memory, motor skills, general intellectual functioning, and visuospatial functioning. All participants regularly drank in excess of 10 standard drinks/session. Fifty cases were binge drinkers who consumed alcohol on 2 days/week or less and 50 cases were individuals who consumed alcohol daily. The two groups of drinkers were statistically matched on a number of demographic and misuse factors. The results indicated similar performance for both the binge drinkers and the regular drinkers in visuo-motor speed, visuo-spatial organization and planning, learning, proactive interference, retroactive interference, and retrieval efficiency. However, performance differences were observed on tasks that required semantic organizational ability, with binge drinkers performing better than regular drinkers on these tasks. Due to the differences in the cognitive performance of the two groups, it was concluded that drinking pattern is an important factor in investigating cognitive performance in alcoholics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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