Scientists have figured out how much alcohol turns off willpower

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Only one mug of beer or a glass of wine can shake volitional mechanisms. This conclusion came neuroscientists from the University of Sussex, writes MedicalXpress.

Scientists have focused on the study of moderate alcohol consumption, that is, not causing any behavioral problems – impulsivity, aggression, risky behavior. The lead author of the study, Dr. Silvana De Pirro, explained that their experiment shows how safe the acceptable doses of alcohol are in the driver’s blood. It turned out that even a small amount of alcohol can shake willpower and self-control.

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The researcher says that it was rather difficult to measure the ability to self-monitor, because people’s responses are often influenced by poor self-analysis, a desire to meet expectations, or an inability to understand a question. Therefore, scientists used the method to study unconscious volitional mechanisms.

When a physical stimulus (a flash of light or sound) follows an arbitrary action (for example, a hand movement), the person feels that the stimulus occurred earlier than in reality, and the action later than it actually was. That is, the brain "brings together" in time volitional action and physical stimulus. Scientists believe that this property of the brain is directly related to strong-willed feeling.

The participants in the experiment were offered to drink an alcoholic beverage in a dosage proportional to the body mass index of each, in order to obtain an alcohol concentration in the blood that is allowed when driving a car. It turned out that these doses even more strongly “brought together” arbitrary actions and physical stimuli in the brain. Scientists believe that even a small amount of alcohol leads to the fact that a person begins to exaggerate their driving abilities. And too much confidence in this is fraught with dangerous actions, say the researchers.

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