Beer Drinkers Get Giddy at Mere Taste
Dopamine kicks in even before alcohol registers
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2013 7:15 PM CDT
Updated Apr 20, 2013 12:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – Beer drinkers start feeling happy at the smallest sip, even before any alcohol registers, a new study suggests. Indiana University researchers found that dopamine levels in the brain rose when drinkers had just a tiny amount of beer, before any alcohol buzz was possible, reports LiveScience. The not-so-funny part: Dopamine levels shot up the most in those who had a family history of alcoholism, suggesting that some kind of hereditary risk factor was at play, reports the Los Angeles Times.

"We believe this is the first experiment in humans to show that the taste of an alcoholic drink alone, without any intoxicating effect from the alcohol, can elicit this dopamine activity in the brain's reward centers," says the lead author. If the connection to those with a family history of alcoholism holds true, the dopamine test might help gauge the vulnerability of those predisposed to alcohol abuse.

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Showing 3 of 32 comments
Apr 21, 2013 10:34 AM CDT
Guess this is why I'm not a beer drinker.
Apr 17, 2013 3:53 PM CDT
stupid. a person who grew up around alcoholics has a conditioned response based on their observations of others who valued alcohol highly. my husband's dog never loved pizza till i came in the picture. because i would get so excited when my husband came home with a pizza, the dog also got excited from then on. unless they do studies involving children of alcoholics who were raised by other parents, these results aren't proof of anything.
Apr 17, 2013 12:46 PM CDT
THIS JUST IN People who like things get excited when they get or do those things!