Automatic aspects of response selection remain unchanged during high-dose alcohol intoxication

Ann Kathrin Stock*, Wiebke Bensmann, Nicolas Zink, Alexander Münchau, Christian Beste

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


Regular binge-drinking increases the risk of developing alcohol use disorder (AUD) and induces similar acute effects on behavioral control, particularly in case of response selection conflicts. No such effects have been reported for automatic/bottom-up response selection, even though AUD alters automaticity. However, it has never been reliably tested whether this domain is truly unchanged during high-dose alcohol intoxication. To investigate this question with the help of Bayesian analyses, we subjected n=31 young healthy male participants to a within-subject design, where each participant was tested twice in a counter-balanced order (ie, once sober and once intoxicated at 1.1‰). On each appointment, the participants performed the S-R paradigm, which assesses automatic stimulus-response (S-R) binding within the framework of the theory of event coding (TEC). In short, the TEC states that stimulus features and responses become encoded in an event file when they occur simultaneously. These event files will be reactivated by any matching stimulus feature, thus facilitating the encoded response (and hampering different responses). Alcohol led to a general decrease in behavioral performance, as demonstrated by significant main effects of intoxication status on accuracy and response times (all P ≤.009). We also reproduced typical task effects, but did not find any significant interactions with the intoxication factor (all P ≥.099). The latter was further substantiated by Bayesian analyses providing positive to strong evidence for the null hypothesis. Taken together, our results demonstrate that even high-dose alcohol intoxication does not impair automatic response selection/S-R associations.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12852
JournalAddiction Biology
Publication statusPublished - 10.12.2019

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


Dive into the research topics of 'Automatic aspects of response selection remain unchanged during high-dose alcohol intoxication'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this