Publication Details

Bowley, C., Faricy, C., Hegarty, B., Johnstone, S. J., Smith, J. L., Kelly, P. J. & Rushby, J. A. (2013). The effects of inhibitory control training on alcohol consumption, implicit alcohol-related cognitions and brain electrical activity. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 89 (3), 342-348.


This study aimed to replicate findings that alcohol consumption and positive implicit beer-related cognitions can be reduced using inhibitory control (IC) training, with the addition of an active training control. Frontal EEG asymmetry, an objective psychophysiological index of approach motivation, was used as a dependent measure to examine training outcomes. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two IC training conditions (Beer NoGo or Beer Go) or a Brief Alcohol Intervention (BAI) (i.e. the active training control). The IC training tasks consistently paired a stimulus that required a response with images of water (Beer NoGo) or images of beer (Beer Go). Alcohol consumption and implicit beer-related cognitions were measured at pre-training, post-training and at one week follow-up. Frontal EEG asymmetry was recorded during a passive image viewing task that presented neutral, healthy, and beer stimuli - at pre-training, post-training and follow-up. Participants in the Beer NoGo and BAI conditions consumed less beer in a taste test immediately after training than Beer Go participants, suggesting that IC training may be as effective as the already established BAI. The taste test findings were in line with the frontal EEG asymmetry data, which indicated that approach motivation for beer stimuli was altered in the expected directions. However, the positive correlation between post-training frontal EEG asymmetry data and taste test consumption was not significant. While there were no significant changes in implicit beer-related cognitions following training, a trending positive relationship between implicit beer-related cognitions at post-training and taste test consumption was reported. Further exploration addressing the limitations of the current study is required in order to clarify the implications of these findings.



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