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Exp Brain Res. 2016 Apr;234(4):937-44. doi: 10.1007/s00221-015-4522-3. Epub 2015 Dec 17.

Effects of alcohol intake on time-based event expectations.

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Institute of Cognitive Neurosciences, Agricultural University of Georgia, 250 David Aghmashenebeli Allay, 0159, Tbilisi, Georgia.
Department of Psychology, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.


Previous evidence suggests that alcohol affects various forms of temporal cognition. However, there are presently no studies investigating whether and how alcohol affects on time-based event expectations. Here, we investigated the effects of alcohol on time-based event expectations. Seventeen healthy volunteers, aged between 19 and 36 years, participated. We employed a variable foreperiod paradigm with temporally predictable events, mimicking a computer game. Error rate and reaction time were analyzed in placebo (0 g/kg), low dose (0.2 g/kg) and high dose (0.6 g/kg) conditions. We found that alcohol intake did not eliminate, but substantially reduced, the formation of time-based expectancy. This effect was stronger for high doses, than for low doses, of alcohol. As a result of our studies, we have evidence that alcohol intake impairs time-based event expectations. The mechanism by which the level of alcohol impairs time-based event expectations needs to be clarified by future research.


Alcohol; Associative learning; Attentional control; Time-based expectancy; Timing

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