Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

Loughborough University Institutional Repository

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/20809

Title: The effects of acute alcohol intoxication on the cognitive mechanisms underlying false facial recognition
Authors: Colloff, Melissa F.
Flowe, Heather D.
Keywords: Alcohol myopia theory
Face recognition
Response bias
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Springer Verlag © The Author(s)
Citation: COLLOFF, M.F. and FLOWE, H.D., 2016. The effects of acute alcohol intoxication on the cognitive mechanisms underlying false facial recognition. Psychopharmacology, 233 (11), pp. 2139-2149.
Abstract: Rationale False face recognition rates are sometimes higher when faces are learned while under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol myopia theory (AMT) proposes that acute alcohol intoxication during face learning causes people to attend to only the most salient features of a face, impairing the encoding of less salient facial features. Yet, there is currently no direct evidence to support this claim. Objectives Our objective was to test whether acute alcohol intoxication impairs face learning by causing subjects to attend to a salient (i.e., distinctive) facial feature over other facial features, as per AMT. Methods We employed a balanced placebo design (N = 100). Subjects in the alcohol group were dosed to achieve a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.06 %, whereas the no alcohol group consumed tonic water. Alcohol expectancy was controlled. Subjects studied faces with or without a distinctive feature (e.g., scar, piercing). An old-new recognition test followed. Some of the test faces were “old” (i.e., previously studied), and some were “new” (i.e., not previously studied). We varied whether the new test faces had a previously studied distinctive feature versus other familiar characteristics. Results Intoxicated and sober recognition accuracy was comparable, but subjects in the alcohol group made more positive identifications overall compared to the no alcohol group. Conclusions The results are not in keeping with AMT. Rather, a more general cognitive mechanism appears to underlie false face recognition in intoxicated subjects. Specifically, acute alcohol intoxication during face learning results in more liberal choosing, perhaps because of an increased reliance on familiarity.
Description: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Sponsor: This project was funded by a grant from the ESRC [grant number: ES/J005169/1].
Version: Published
DOI: 10.1007/s00213-016-4263-4
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/20809
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00213-016-4263-4
ISSN: 1432-2072
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)

Files associated with this item:

File Description SizeFormat
art%3A10.1007%2Fs00213-016-4263-4.pdfPublished625.21 kBAdobe PDFView/Open


SFX Query

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.