Alcohol Enhances, Not Drowns, Sorrow

Think that beer helps drown your sorrow? Think again: according to a new research at the University of Tokyo, alcohol actually help lock painful memory in place.

The researchers, led by pharmacology professor Norio Matsuki, gave mild shocks to lab rats to condition them to fear. As a result, the rats would freeze in terror and curl up the moment they were put in their cages.

Researchers then immediately injected the rats with ethanol or saline.

The researchers found that rats with alcohol in their veins froze up for longer, with the fear on average lasting two weeks, compared with rats that did not receive injections.

"If we apply this study to humans, the memories they are trying to get rid of will remain strongly, even if they drink alcohol to try to forget an event they dislike and be in a merry mood for the moment," the study said.

"The following day, they won't remember the merriness that they felt," it said.

Link (Photo: Ben McLeod) - via Japan Probe

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yea... alcohol is a downer, man!

seriously though, why DO we keep getting research conducted on things we already know the answer to? "through extensive research and countless waking hours, scientists have finally concluded that clouds are the result of evaporated water!" THANKS, SHERLOCK! "next week we explore the mystery of socks: they may be made of cotton, and why are there TWO of them?"
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Wait. I'm still trying to figure out how this study applies to humans:

1. I get an electric shock when I go into a bar.
2. I get conditioned to experience a fear response when I go into a bar (because I'm certainly not going to stop going into the bar, seriously.)
3. When I experience the fear response, someone runs up behind me and injects me with ethanol (which, by the way, would really, really, really, really, really hurt like a sumanabitch) or saline.
4. When I get injected with the ethanol, I curl up on the floor for a longer period of time.

I don't know. I think the Mythbusters ought to take a crack at it. (Having typed that last sentence I am forced to consider if Professor Matsuki wasn't on crack when he did this study.)
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