The effect of repeated occasions of alcohol intoxication of two processes involved in the visual discrimination of movement

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Abstract

The focus of this study was the effect of repeated episodes of alcohol intoxication on two processes involved in visual movement discrimination: visual sensitivity and decision-making. Four female subjects were asked to discriminate between a stationary light signal and one that changed position in the center of a dark visual field. Prior to each of 15 alcohol testing sessions, a dose of .66 ml of 95% USP ethanol per kg body weight was administered to each subject and BAL was sampled frequently within sessions. Differences in subjects' pre- and postalcohol performance were evaluated within the framework of a psychophysical model that mathematically characterizes the problem of movement discrimination and yields independent estimates of visual sensitivity and decisional aspect of subjects' performance. Evidence for specificity in the development of sensory versus decisional process tolerance to intoxication effects was found. The major result was that each subject made large and statistically reliable shifts in decisional criteria during the time course of the blood alcohol curve within alcohol testing sessions, even when visual sensitivity had adapted to alcohol intake effects. The results of this study illustrate the utility of tracing acute intake effects over repeated occasions of intoxication, and empirically testing subjects' assumed decisional strategies when modeling these effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-154
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol
Volume50
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989

Fingerprint

Alcoholic Intoxication
intoxication
discrimination
alcohol
Alcohols
Testing
Dimercaprol
Visual Fields
Decision Making
Ethanol
Body Weight
body weight
Light
Blood
Decision making
performance
tolerance
Discrimination (Psychology)
decision making
evidence

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "The focus of this study was the effect of repeated episodes of alcohol intoxication on two processes involved in visual movement discrimination: visual sensitivity and decision-making. Four female subjects were asked to discriminate between a stationary light signal and one that changed position in the center of a dark visual field. Prior to each of 15 alcohol testing sessions, a dose of .66 ml of 95{\%} USP ethanol per kg body weight was administered to each subject and BAL was sampled frequently within sessions. Differences in subjects' pre- and postalcohol performance were evaluated within the framework of a psychophysical model that mathematically characterizes the problem of movement discrimination and yields independent estimates of visual sensitivity and decisional aspect of subjects' performance. Evidence for specificity in the development of sensory versus decisional process tolerance to intoxication effects was found. The major result was that each subject made large and statistically reliable shifts in decisional criteria during the time course of the blood alcohol curve within alcohol testing sessions, even when visual sensitivity had adapted to alcohol intake effects. The results of this study illustrate the utility of tracing acute intake effects over repeated occasions of intoxication, and empirically testing subjects' assumed decisional strategies when modeling these effects.",
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