Effects of acute alcohol administration on verbal and spatial learning

Dan M Mungas, Cindy L. Ehlers, Tamara L. Wall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The effects of alcohol and placebo on cognitive functioning in male, Asian-American college students were evaluated with a double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over design using a multi-trial learning test in which verbal and spatial learning were simultaneously assessed. Verbal recall was impaired consistently across learning trials, while impairment of spatial recall was evident only on later learning trials. Recall of spatial information was influenced by order of presentation and amount of exposure time of items. Results do not support a theory that spatial learning is more impaired by alcohol than verbal learning, and thus do not lend support for the hypothesis that alcohol has a greater effect on right than left hemisphere functioning. Results provide evidence that alcohol increases susceptibility to interference effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-169
Number of pages7
JournalAlcohol and Alcoholism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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