Category: Neuroscience

PS13- #B33 - ERP-Related Changes in a Go/No-Go Task Pertaining to College Binge Drinking

Saturday, Nov 18
2:45 PM – 3:45 PM
Location: Indigo Ballroom CDGH, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Neuroscience | Change Process / Mechanisms | Alcohol

Binge drinking, often defined as consuming enough alcohol to raise the blood alcohol level above the legal limit, is common in college, peaking at 18- to 22-years-old. Negative outcomes associated with binge drinking can include mild repercussions, such as hangover symptoms and missed classes, as well as serious repercussions, including drunk driving and sexual assault. In addition to these negative outcomes, binge drinking may have negative neural implications, especially given that the brain is still developing in late adolescence and early adulthood. The present study investigated the relationship between binge drinking and cortical brain function by recording event-related potentials (ERPs) through electroencephalogram (EEG). Prior studies have explored peak amplitudes of the P300 ERP component related to alcohol use; however, findings have been inconsistent and have not specifically examined binge drinking. Because of this, we decided to examine another dimension of the P300 ERP component, specifically peak latency. We hypothesized that those who report more binge drinking will have longer P300 ERP peak latencies measured during a response inhibition task, indicating poorer cognitive processing. Thirty-five undergraduates, ages 18-20-years, completed the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) to measure binge drinking and the ASEBA Adult Self-Report (ASR) to measure overall problem behaviors. EEG data were collected through a 64-channel BioSemi system while participants completed an auditory Go/No-Go task. EEGLab and ERPLab were used to reject artifacts and create ERPs for three clinically robust EEG sites (Fz, Cz, and Pz). Preliminary correlations found that peak latency at site Fz was negatively correlated with binge drinking during No-Go trials, r (33) = - .410, p=. 014. The ASR did not render any significant correlations comparing ERPs and problem behaviors during Go or No-Go trials. A linear regression examining the relationship of binge drinking on brain function significantly predicted peak latency values (F (2,30) =7.029, p=.012), R2=.176. Supporting our hypothesis, higher binge drinking scores, B= -8.462, p= .012, were associated with shorter peak latencies. Since peak latencies signify cognitive processing speed, shorter latencies could be an indicator of impulsivity among those with more binge drinking. However, further research is needed to determine if these are meaningful neurobiological differences pertaining to binge drinking. 

Ashley Synger

University of North Carolina Wilmington
Dudley, North Carolina

Kate B. Nooner

Associate Professor
University of North Carolina Wilmington
Wilmington, North Carolina