Wait, Beer Boosts Your Brain?

Study shows it makes you better at bar games, anyway
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2012 10:05 AM CDT
A couple pints of beer may help you come up with better ideas... or it may just make you better at bar games.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – You know how you get when you've got a couple pints in you: You stumble a bit, talk too loudly, and completely rock at brainteasers. A new study suggests that downing a little beer actually improves some cognitive functions. Researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago got a group of 40 men to compete in a bar game in which they were given three words, and asked to come up with a fourth that fit the pattern, the New York Daily News reports.

Half the men were given two pints of beer, the other half were competing sober. Amazingly, Team Tipsy won, solving 40% more problems, and coming up with their answers 3.5 seconds faster. "We found at 0.07% blood alcohol, people were worse at working memory tasks, but they were better at creative problem-solving," one psychologist wrote. Her theory? Maybe concentration isn't all it's cracked up to be. "Innovation may happen when people are not so focused. Sometimes it's good to be distracted."

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