New research from the University of Sussex neuroscientists showed that drinking just a large glass of wine or one pint of beer is sufficient to significantly compromise an individual’s sense of agency. The sense of agency is the emotion of being under control of our actions. It is an imperative feature of human social behavior, as it implicit knowledge of the effects of those actions. The new study is the first of its kind to test the impact of alcohol on the sense of agency. The research was focused on low doses of alcohol, especially intake during social drinking that does not create a large impairment of behavior. Till now, studies have mostly aimed at the loss of inhibitory manage produced by clear drunkenness, characterized by aggression, impulsivity, and risky behavior.
Dr. Silvana De Pirro—Lead Author of the study—said, “Our research presents a compelling case that just one pint of beer is sufficient to considerably compromise an individual’s sense of agency. This has significant implications for social and legal responsibility of drivers, and asks is current alcohol limits for driving actually safe?” On explaining how the study was carried, Dr. De Pirro stated, “Calculating an individual’s sense of agency is kind of tricky. When individuals are clearly asked to tell how under control they feel, their answers are impacted by many cognitive biases, like poor introspection, the wish to conform to investigators’ expectations, or even the incapability to understand the question properly.”
Recently, the University of Sussex was in the news as its researchers discovered a genetic defect causing intellectual disability. This is a finding that would improve screening programs and aid in ending an “investigative odyssey” for families worldwide. Seemingly, XLID (X-linked intellectual disability) affects almost 3% of the worldwide population with the fundamental genetic mutations being conceded and passed on by unaffected females through their X-chromosome.