Divided attention task performance and subjective effects following alcohol and placebo: differences between women with and without a family history of alcoholism.Drug Alcohol Depend 1994; 35(2):95-105DA
Women with (FHP) and without (FHN) family histories of alcoholism received either 0.56 g/kg alcohol or an isocaloric placebo in a repeated measures group design. Subjects performed a divided attention task and gave subjective ratings of 12 alcohol effects over a 3-h interval. After comparable doses of alcohol, 7 FHP and 10 FHN women had comparable ascending (blood alcohol levels) BALs. BALs peaked earlier for FHP women and then steadily declined. FHP women had a concomitant increase in visual search response times 30 min after alcohol. In contrast, scores on a simultaneously presented compensatory tracking task were virtually identical for the 7 FHP and 10 FHN women after alcohol and for the 8 FHP and 10 FHN women after placebo. After alcohol the FHP and FHN women had 7 out of 12 significantly different subjective ratings of alcohol responses. FHP women had lower subjective responses to alcohol and lower BALs, but their subjective responses were more strongly correlated with BALs. Our findings for women studied in a group design confirm the lower magnitude of subjective responses reported for pair-matched FHP men following comparable doses of alcohol in within-subjects and between-subjects designs in other laboratories.