While people drink to forget, a new study suggests that it may actually enhance cognitive abilities.
A new study has now revealed that drinking alcohol improves memory for information that was imbibed before drinking episode commenced.
While the reason for the same remains unclear, researchers suggest that alcohol may block the learning of new information, giving the brain, in the process, more resources to lay down recently learned information into long –term memory.
The study, by researchers from the University of Exeter, looked at the effects of drinking alcohol in a natural setting on memory.
Participants, who all classed themselves as social drinkers, were given a task in which they had to learn words.
They were then randomly split into two groups, and told either to drink as much as they liked, or not to drink at all.
The next day, they all did the same task again, and surprisingly, those who had drunk alcohol remembered more of what they had learned than those who didn't drink at all.
Researchers are of the opinion that this goes on to show the positive effects of alcohol on memory.
Professor Celia Morgan, who led the study said that their research not only showed that those who drank alcojol did better when repeating the word-learning task, but that this effect was stronger among those who drank more.