ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0107.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: hangover; alcohol; internet; attention; executive function; working memory
Online: 12 February 2019 (17:24:43 CET)
Studies into the cognitive effects of alcohol have been mixed. They also present methodological challenges, often relying on self-report of alcohol consumption leading to hangover. The current study used BAC (obtained via breathalyser) and self-reported drinking behavior during a night out and related these to hangover severity and cognitive function measured over the internet in the same subjects the following morning. Volunteers were breathalysed and interviewed as they left a central entertainment district of an Australian state capital. They were provided with a unique identifier and, the following morning, logged on to a website. This included an online version of the Alcohol Hangover Severity Scale (AHSS), and number and type of drinks consumed the previous night and the eTMT-B - a validated, online analogue of the Trail Making Test B of executive function and working memory. Hangover severity was significantly correlated with one measure only, namely the previous night’s BAC (r = .228, p = .019). Completion time on the eTMT-B was significantly correlated with hangover severity ( r = .245, p = .012), previous night’s BAC (r = .197, p = .041) and time spent dinking (r = .376, p < .001). These findings confirm that alcohol hangover negatively affects cognitive functioning and that poorer working memory and executive performance correlates with hangover severity. The results also support the utility of using online measures in hangover research.