NDARC Technical Report No. 12 (1991)
Verbal memory functioning was assessed in light and heavy social drinkers by administering a variety of cognitive tasks and by recording event-related potentials while subjects were instructed to memorise information using either repetition or elaborative learning strategies. Although overall performance did not differ significantly between light and heavy drinkers, a behavioural measure of the size of inter-related groups formed when subjects were required to utilise elaborative learning strategies indicated that the heavy drinkers formed smaller units than the light drinkers. There were statistically significant differences in the event-related potential indices of memory functioning elicited during complex elaborative processing which were consistent with the reduced inter-item associations.