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The Effects of Alcohol Hangover on Mood and Performance Assessed at Home
Open AccessArticle

The Effects of Alcohol Hangover on Executive Functions

1
Addiction and Mental Health Group, Department of Psychology, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK
2
Department of Psychology, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK
3
Division of Pharmacology, Utrecht University, 3584CG Utrecht, The Netherlands
4
Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS), Utrecht University, 3584CM Utrecht, The Netherlands
5
Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University, Melbourne, VIC 3122, Australia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(4), 1148; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9041148
Received: 3 April 2020 / Revised: 12 April 2020 / Accepted: 14 April 2020 / Published: 17 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Alcohol Hangover: Causes, Consequences, and Treatment)
Recent research has suggested that processes reliant on executive functions are impaired by an alcohol hangover, yet few studies have investigated the effect of hangovers on core executive function processes. Therefore, the current study investigated the effect of hangovers on the three core components of the unity/diversity model of executive functions: the ability to switch attention, update information in working memory, and maintain goals. Thirty-five 18-to-30-year-old non-smoking individuals who reported experiencing a hangover at least once in the previous month participated in this study. They completed tasks measuring switching (number-switching task), updating (n-back task), and goal maintenance (AX Continuous Performance Test, AX-CPT) whilst experiencing a hangover and without a hangover in a ‘naturalistic’ within-subjects crossover design. Participants made more errors in the switching task (p = 0.019), more errors in both the 1- (p < 0.001) and 2-back (p < 0.001) versions of the n-back, and more errors in the AX-CPT (p = 0.007) tasks when experiencing a hangover, compared to the no-hangover condition. These results suggest that an alcohol hangover impairs core executive function processes that are important for everyday behaviours, such as decision-making, planning, and mental flexibility. View Full-Text
Keywords: alcohol; hangover; executive functions; working memory; cognition alcohol; hangover; executive functions; working memory; cognition
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gunn, C.; Fairchild, G.; Verster, J.C.; Adams, S. The Effects of Alcohol Hangover on Executive Functions. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 1148. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9041148

AMA Style

Gunn C, Fairchild G, Verster JC, Adams S. The Effects of Alcohol Hangover on Executive Functions. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2020; 9(4):1148. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9041148

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gunn, Craig; Fairchild, Graeme; Verster, Joris C.; Adams, Sally. 2020. "The Effects of Alcohol Hangover on Executive Functions" J. Clin. Med. 9, no. 4: 1148. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9041148

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