Alcohol Belongs Here: Assessing Alcohol-related Inhibitory Control with a Contextual Go/No-Go Task

Charlotte Pennington, Rebecca Monk, Adam Qureshi, Derek Heim

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Abstract

There is a growing awareness of the need to explore the social and environmental milieus that drive alcohol consumption and related cognitions. The current study examined the extent to which alcohol-congruent and incongruent drinking contexts modulate alcohol-related inhibitory control using a novel Go/No-Go task. One-hundred and eight participants (Mage = 20 years; SD = 4.87) were instructed to inhibit their responses to visual alcoholic (Alcohol/No-Go condition, n = 50) or non-alcoholic stimuli (Alcohol/Go condition, n = 58) depicted in an alcohol-congruent (pub), incongruent (library) or context free (control) condition. Participants in the Alcohol/Go condition exhibited higher false alarm rate (FAR) towards non-alcoholic stimuli and faster reaction times (RT) to alcoholic stimuli depicted in the alcohol-congruent and incongruent context compared to the Alcohol/No-Go condition. In contrast, FAR towards alcoholic stimuli (Alcohol/No-Go condition) were not significantly affected by drinking context but RT was faster when non-alcoholic stimuli were presented in an alcohol-incongruent (i.e., library) compared to alcohol-congruent context (i.e., pub). The discussion turns to potential explanations for these findings, suggesting that social drinkers might exhibit approach tendencies towards alcoholic images that translate into errors towards non-alcoholic stimuli, and that image complexity influences response inhibition.
Original languageEnglish
JournalExperimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Dec 2018

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