Effects of alcohol on the storage and retrieval processes of heavy social drinkers.J Exp Psychol Hum Learn. 1978 May; 4(3):246-55.JE
Two experiments investigated the effects of intoxication, expectation of intoxication, and state dependency on learning and relearning in male heavy social drinkers. In both studies, subjects participated in two daily sessions. On Day 1, intoxicated and sober subjects were presented with word lists for immediate free recall, followed by total free recall of all words. On Day 2, with or without a change in drug state, subjects were given a second total recall test, the same lists for immediate recall, and a third total recall test. In Experiment 1, 10 subjects served in each of four groups formed by crossing expectation with reception of alcohol on Day 1; all subjects were sober on Day 2. In Experiment 2, 12 subjects served in each of four groups formed by crossing drug state on Day 1 with drug state on Day 2 (sober-sober, sober-intoxicated, intoxicated-intoxicated, intoxicated-sober), and all expected alcohol. In both studies, intoxication produced a performance deficit, but retention loss on Day 2 was the same for change- and constant-state subjects. Expectation had no effect on performance. Results are discussed in terms of an alcohol-induced storage deficiency rather than a retrieval deficit.