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Background: Deficits of frontal lobe functioning and associated cognitive impairments are well known correlates of chronic alcoholism and are commonly interpreted as reflecting cumulative effects of high alcohol exposure (Lyvers, 2000). Alternatively, such associations may reflect traits predating alcohol exposure which predispose to risky drinking . For example, university students have a higher prevalence of alcohol use as well as risky drinking than do non-students of the same age, yet not all students drink at risky levels, suggesting that excessive alcohol use by young adults may be influenced by underlying trait factors in addition to social factors. Recent studies using self-report indices have identified frontal lobe related traits such as impulsiveness, reward sensitivity, disinhibition, and executive dysfunction as factors associated with risky drinking in young adults (Lyvers et al., 2009, 2011). The proposed project will extend this work by administering neuropsychological tests of frontal lobe function to young adults aged 18-26 years to assess whether deficiencies in frontal lobe function are related to risky alcohol use by young adults.
Lyvers, Michael and Edwards, Mark S., "Impulsivity, Executive Cognition and Reward Sensitivity in Relation to Excessive or Problematic Alcohol Consumption" (2012). Research Week Posters. 32.