WASHINGTON -- Even a single drink of alcohol is enough to impair someone's ability to reason quickly and detect errors, according to a study that electronically monitored brain waves in volunteers given drinks.
Dutch researchers put sensors on the scalps of 14 men who were tested in three sessions after having a placebo, a single alcohol drink, or several drinks. The volunteers then were challenged in a computer test that required quick thinking and instinctive reasoning.
Changes in brain action were quickly detected even after a single drink, leading the researchers to conclude that alcohol, even in "modest doses," was enough to erode the mind's ability to detect and correct errors.
The alcohol was administered using orange juice spiked with vodka containing 37.5 percent alcohol. The dosage was based on the weight of the test subject. For instance, a 180-pound man would be given drinks with...