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Alcohol and Emotions

Title: Alcohol and Emotions: Potential Dose Effects and Mechanisms of Neuromuscular Control.
Name(s): Donohue, Keith F., author
Lang, Alan R., professor directing thesis
Eckel, Lisa A., committee member
Kline, John P., committee member
Department of Psychology, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2003
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This study sought to replicate and extend previous research that used affective modulation of the eye-blink startle response (STR) to explore the emotional consequences of drinking. One of four levels of alcohol dose (including a no-alcohol control) was administered to each of 101 (48 female) young social drinkers to evaluate the extent to which increasing blood-alcohol level (BAL) differentially influences reaction to visual stimuli that vary in their emotional content. The results indicate that increasing BAL was associated with a linear decrease in the overall STR reactivity. Alcohol intoxication did not significantly alter the stereotypic modulation of the affective valence dimension of emotional responding in the low BAL group (i.e. STR responding to pleasant images was attenuated and STR responding to unpleasant images was augmented in a similar fashion). However, it did have this effect in the moderate and high BAL groups, suggesting a possible threshold for the stress-response dampening effects of alcohol. STR, which is mediated by a neural circuit that involves input from subcortical regions of the nervous system, was contrasted with the concurrently measured postauricular reflex (PAR), which is mediated by a neural circuit that does not involve input from these areas, allowing for evaluation of the functional location of alcohol's effects on the arousal component of affective responding. The results indicate that while increasing BAL was associated with a decrease in overall STR magnitude, it was not associated with an overall decrease in PAR magnitude. This suggests the observed decrease in the arousal dimension of emotional responding is likely due to alcohol's effects on subcortical areas of the central nervous system (consonant with its effect on STR magnitude), rather than its effects on motor-output components of thenervous system (which would be associated with a decrease in PAR magnitude).
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-0703 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Psychology in the partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science..
Degree Awarded: Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2003.
Date of Defense: Date of Defense: December 10, 2002.
Keywords: Emotional Consequences of Drinking
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory committee: Alan R. Lang, Professor Directing Thesis; Lisa A. Eckel, Committee Member; John P. Kline, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Psychology
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU

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Donohue, K. F. (2003). Alcohol and Emotions: Potential Dose Effects and Mechanisms of Neuromuscular Control. Retrieved from