Researchers at the University of Graz in Austria have released findings from a study that say mild alcohol intoxication helps lead to mental clarity and to spark creative thought.
Seventy volunteers between the ages of 19 and 32 were given both alcohol-free and regular beer before taking a series of tests. The experiment showed volunteers performing better on a word problem test after drinking a pint of beer than they did after drinking the non-alcoholic drinks. The researchers did note, however, concentration and memory issues were apparent during other skill tests.
“While many activities usually benefit from high cognitive control, some may actually suffer from too much focus,” said the study’s lead author Dr. Mathias Benedek. “Alcohol may reduce fixation effects by loosening the focus of attention. Thereby, alcohol may facilitate a broader associative search and the effective solving of creative tasks that are prone to fixation effects.”
Although creativity appeared to be enhanced by drinking a pint, the researchers did note consuming more than that may affect creativity negatively.