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Visual and auditory contextual cues differentially influence alcohol-related inhibitory control

Qureshi, Adam; Monk, Rebecca Louise; Pennington, Charlotte Rebecca; Li, Xiaoyun; Leatherbarrow, Thomas; Oulton, Jennifer R


Adam Qureshi

Rebecca Louise Monk

Xiaoyun Li

Thomas Leatherbarrow

Jennifer R Oulton


Introduction: Representing a more immersive testing environment, the current study exposed individuals to both alcohol-related visual and auditory cues to assess their respective impact on alcohol-related inhibitory control. It examined further whether individual variation in alcohol consumption and trait effortful control may predict inhibitory control performance. Method: Twenty-five U.K. university students (Mage = 23.08, SD = 8.26) completed an anti-saccade eye-tracking task and were instructed to look towards (pro) or directly away (anti) from alcohol-related and neutral visual stimuli. Short alcohol-related sound cues (bar audio) were played on 50% of trials and were compared with responses where no sounds were played. Results: Findings indicate that participants launched more incorrect saccades towards alcohol-related visual stimuli on anti-saccade trials, and responded quicker to alcohol on pro-saccade trials. Alcohol-related audio cues reduced latencies for both pro- and anti-saccade trials and reduced anti-saccade error rates to alcohol-related visual stimuli. Controlling for trait effortful control and problem alcohol consumption removed these effects. Conclusion: These findings suggest that alcohol-related visual cues may be associated with reduced inhibitory control, evidenced by increased errors and faster response latencies. The presentation of alcohol-related auditory cues, however, appears to enhance performance accuracy. It is postulated that auditory cues may re-contextualise visual stimuli into a more familiar setting that reduces their saliency and lessens their attentional pull.


Qureshi, A., Monk, R. L., Pennington, C. R., Li, X., Leatherbarrow, T., & Oulton, J. R. (in press). Visual and auditory contextual cues differentially influence alcohol-related inhibitory control. Adicciones -Palma de Mallorca-,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 4, 2018
Journal Adicciones
Print ISSN 0214-4840
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords alcohol consumption, inhibitory control, context effects, anti-saccade, effortful control
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