According to a new study, people who go out drinking alcohol have to work harder than usual to feel sympathy for others.
Researchers at the University of Sussex observed the brain functions of 71 volunteers from the UK and France, while performing a pain perception task.
The researchers said that half of the people participating in the study were classified as binge drinkers and half of them did not. All volunteers were calm during the test.
The definition of a binge drinker is that a consumer is equal to three quarters of a bottle of wine or a hundred grams of lager in a single sitting.
Binge drinkers showed more signs of dysfunction in their area of mind associated with empathy than regular drinkers.
He also said that he struggles more and more while trying to ‘adopt the attitude of someone else who is experiencing pain’.
According to a new study, people who go out of binge drinking have to work harder than usual to feel sympathy for others in pain. Stock image
Volunteers were shown several pictures (illustrations) showing traumatic injuries to the limbs and asked to either imagine it happening to them or someone else
In the task, participants were shown an image of an injured limb, and had to imagine that the body part was either theirs or that of another person.
Volunteers then had to explain how much pain they perceived as associated with the injury shown in the image.
BINGE-DRINKING: AT LEAST 2.1OZ OF PURE ALCOHOL A MONTH
There is a specific definition of binge drinking – it is not going out for a heavy night.
A binge drinker is one who consumes more than 2.1oz (60g) of pure alcohol sitting at least once per month.
That is about three quarters of a bottle of wine, or 2ts pinch lager.
According to the NHS, binge drinking is more than:
- 8 units alcohol in one session for men
- 6 units of alcohol in one session for women
The researchers claim that about 30 percent of people over 15 years of age drink in the UK and France meet the ‘binge’ criteria.
‘[Bing-drinkers] The response took longer and the scan showed that their brains had to work harder – to use more neural resources – to appreciate how much pain another person would feel, ‘the team wrote.
In fact they were ‘significantly slower’ than those who do not binge-drink – taking 2.4 seconds to respond to pain in imaginary strangers, compared to 2.07 seconds for non-drinkers.
This suggests that the minds of binge drinkers have to work harder to process other people’s pain.
The study revealed more extensive dysfunction in the brains of binge drinkers related to previously felt empathy.
A visual area of the brain, which is involved in identifying body parts, has been shown to have an actively high level of binge drinkers.
This was not true among non-binge drinkers who viewed the same images.
When binge drinkers were asked to imagine the injured body part in the picture as their own, their pain estimates did not differ from their non-binge drinking counterparts.
The difference came when they tried to imagine the organ from another.
Professor Theodora Duca from the School of Psychology at the University of Sussex has been studying the effects of excessive alcohol consumption for years.
He said that bean-drink is defined as consuming more than 2.1oz (60g) of pure alcohol – about three quarters of a bottle of wine, or the equivalent of 2 wine pinch lager – at least one in the last 30 days On the spot, he said.
In the UK and France, alcoholic drinks meet the criteria of ‘binge’ drinking, around 30 per cent of all adults over 15 years of age.
“I have built a strong body of evidence about the widespread methods associated with binge drinking, with brain dysfunction in areas of self-control and attention.”
The goal of this study was to find out whether binge drinkers showed less empathy than binge drinkers – and they found this to be true.
“Empathy in binge drinkers can facilitate drinking because it can feel the suffering of oneself or others during a drinking session,” said Duca.
‘An area of the brain called the fusiform body area associated with the recognition of body parts, in which binge drinkers showed hyperactivity in a situation in which a feeling of empathy was experienced.’
Signs of dysfunction appear in the region of your brain associated with empathy compared to those who do not drink regularly. Stock image
Dr. from the School of Psychology at the University of Sussex. Charlotte Rae said the results were ‘surprising’.
‘Our data suggest that binge drinkers need to work harder to feel empathy for others in pain,’ Rai said, ‘in terms of higher brain activity than non-binge drinkers They need to use more resources. ‘
This means that people who drink binge in everyday life may struggle to more easily understand the pain of others than those who do not drink much.
‘It’s not that binge drinkers feel less sympathetic – it’s just that they have to put more brain resources into being able to do so.’
‘However, in some circumstances when resources are limited, binge drinkers may struggle to engage in a reactive response to others.’
The findings are published in the journal Neuroimage: Clinical.