Reduce Drinking with Working Memory TrainingReduce Drinking: Although we may have a strong desire to drink less, knowing the advantages to our health and well being, it can be a considerable challenge to reduce our drinking. Drinking too much alcohol impacts our working memory1 -- the ability to hold in mind and act on information. This in turn makes it difficult to control our impulses making it more difficult to reduce drinking. A course of progressive working memory training helps to break this cycle and thereby reduce drinking long term.
A study by scientists at Maastricht University in the Netherlands2 has shown that working memory training helps people reduce drinking by about 30%. The research concluded that working memory training was a helpful strategy to reduce drinking because it helped bolster the participants' control over their unconscious impulses to drink.
Led by Katrijn Houben the scientists identified problem drinkers using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test or AUDIT test (see below). Half of the participants undertook a one month course of working memory training; the other half spent time on tasks that engaged working memory without strengthening it. The trained group reported that they had reduced their drinking from an average of around 35 units of alcohol per week down toaround 25 units.
The scientists also tested the participants associations with alcohol and showed that reduced drinking was higher for those with more positive associations with alcohol. This supported the conclusion that working memory training was able to reduce drinking by giving the participants to more control over their automatic impulses.
Online brain training with Brain Fitness Pro strengthens working memory and can help reduce drinking without drugs or medication.
Reduce Drinking | Working Memory Exercises
Carefully designed and intensive working memory training can stimulate the growth of new brain cells. In 2008, scientists from the Universities of Michigan and Bern investigated whether they could increase intellectual ability with a demanding working memory program. The researchers showed that an intensive period of brain training with the "dual n-back" working memory exercise increased concentration and attention span in just 19 sessions.
Working memory training is a highly effective method by which to increase concentration and attention span and reduce drinking. MindSparke focuses on working memory training exclusively.
How Much Is Too Much?The US Department of Health and Human Services supports the use of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test or AUDIT test as a good measure of excess drinking3.
This computerized version of the AUDIT test takes just a few minutes to complete. Your answers will be scored automatically:
Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT)
Q1 of 10; select the answer that is correct for you.
Q2 of 10; select the answer that is correct for you.
Q3 of 10; select the answer that is correct for you.
Q4 of 10; select the answer that is correct for you.
Q5 of 10; select the answer that is correct for you.
Q6 of 10; select the answer that is correct for you.
Q7 of 10; select the answer that is correct for you.
Q8 of 10; select the answer that is correct for you.
Q9 of 10; select the answer that is correct for you.
Q10 of 10; select the answer that is correct for you.
The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) can detect alcohol problems experienced in the last year. A score of 8+ on the AUDIT generally indicates harmful or hazardous drinking. Questions 1 thru 8 score 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 points. Questions 9 and 10 are scored 0, 2, or 4 only.