The effects of alcohol on the brain are always interesting, challenging, and worth studying, as well as sometimes scary, sad and aggravating. And my students at Granite State College love examining the subject. Alcohol strongly impacts the lives of many, and for everyone, studying about it adds to their learning about something that ultimately affects most in some way. And maybe it will have an impact on them in the future, so it's good to have that knowledge in your back pocket!
In our Introduction to Psychology courses at Granite State College, we examine alcohol's effects on consciousness. It's always interesting for my students to learn about the effects on the brain of alcohol and other potentially addictive substances. And of course, not everyone becomes addicted. Yet there are still some effects to examine.
My students learn about how those "filters" of consciousness get erased...for example, how alcohol relaxes anxiety-based responses - like what happens if you're kind of nervous about going to a party so you think it's helpful for you to have a couple of beers or glasses of wine to "relax"? Is it a good idea to do that? How does it work? And what about how you may say and or do things you're less likely to do if alcohol weren't a part of the picture, and how the brain's neurotransmitters respond?
Ah, "neurotransmitters" sounds like such a technical word doesn't it? But we learn the basics of how those little guys work in that great Introduction to Psychology course, and it's more interesting than terrifying! My students - both adults who are returning to college and all students who are just hoping to increase their knowledge - are always fascinated by this topic.
Here's some information about how you can take this and other psychology courses at Granite State College http://www.granite.edu/academics/degrees/bachelor/psychology.php
So here's a little about the study I described in the title of this article. First a little background: Alcohol is known to break down those little internal barriers...the ones that say, "Yikes! I'd better not say or do that!"
So, if you were in my class, we'd discuss how alcohol was found to make people more likely to express any "racial bias" they'd been trying to cover up. What does that say about what's really going on in peoples' brains?
You can join us in an online class or for a regular classroom experience. Let's see if we can figure this one out!