Environment blamed for sour office parties

 Researchers at the school of psychology at the University of Birmingham found that drinking in environments not normally associated with alcohol consumption can leave drinkers less able to control their behaviour. They discovered that the brain learns to compensate for the inhibition lowering effects of alcohol when in a familiar setting, such as a pub or at home with friends.

But, if they drink in an unfamiliar environment such as the workplace, where they are usually sober and focused, drinkers do not benefit from tolerance and lose control of their inhibitions, Daily Telegraph reported.

Dr Suzanne Higgs, who led the research, said: “We know alcohol has a disinhibitory effect. We found that when people drank in a particular context, such as in the same room, they developed a tolerance over time and the disinhibitory effect of alcohol went away. As you don’t normally drink alcohol at work, you haven’t had the chance to build up this tolerance so people tend to be less inhibited.”

For their study, published in Alcohol and Alcoholism, the researchers recruited 24 volunteers and asked them to perform a series of computer based tasks in order to test their inhibition levels.

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