Effects of alcohol on controlled and automatic memory processes

Thomas R. Kirchner, Michael A. Sayette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The authors used the process-dissociation procedure (L. L. Jacoby, 1998) to examine the effects of alcohol on controlled and automatic influences on memory performance. Participants studied 1 of 2 word lists and subsequently were cued with word stems to recall the words from both lists. Fifty-four men were administered either a moderate dose of alcohol (0.82 g/kg) or placebo prior to studying the word list. Results indicated that alcohol decreased estimates of controlled contributions to performance on the task. In contrast, alcohol did not appear to affect automatic influences on this task. Integrated with recent findings using a different cognitive task, these data suggest that alcohol impairs performance on implicit, conceptually driven tasks but not on implicit, perceptually driven tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-175
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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