This review surveys relevant and recent data of the pertinent literature regarding the acute effect of alcohol on various kinds of memory processes with special emphasis on working memory. The characteristics of different types of long-term memory (LTM) and short-term memory (STM) processes are summarized with an attempt to relate these to various structures in the brain. LTM is typically impaired by chronic alcohol intake but according to some data a single dose of ethanol may have long lasting effects if administered at a critically important age. The most commonly seen deleterious acute effect of alcohol to STM appears following large doses of ethanol in conditions of "binge drinking" causing the "blackout" phenomenon. However, with the application of various techniques and wellstructured behavioral paradigms it is possible to detect, albeit occasionally, subtle changes of cognitive processes even as a result of a low dose of alcohol. These data may be important for the consideration of legal consequences of low-dose ethanol intake in conditions such as driving, etc.
- Acute alcohol effect
- Long-term memory
- Working memory
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology