The effect of acute alcohol intoxication on alcohol cue salience: An event-related brain potential study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Alcohol cue salience is considered core to the broader understanding of drinking behaviors. In the present research, we sought to build the knowledge of alcohol cue salience by exploring P3 responses to alcohol images among social drinkers within a large-scale alcohol-administration study. Method: Participants (N = 246) were randomly assigned to receive either a moderate dose of alcohol (target BAC = .08%) or a nonalcoholic control beverage. Following beverage administration, participants engaged in image-viewing tasks while EEG was recorded. We examined the impact of alcohol on the amplitude of P3 responses to pictures of alcoholic versus nonalcoholic beverages, exploring both beverage-manipulation and individual-difference moderators of these effects. Results: Results revealed a significant effect of acute alcohol intoxication on P3 responses across stimulus types, with the overall amplitude of P3 being significantly smaller among participants consuming alcohol versus a nonalcoholic beverage. In addition, results revealed a significant main effect of image type, such that P3 amplitude was larger for alcohol images compared to nonalcohol images. No interactions emerged between stimulus type and beverage condition or stimulus type and AUD risk level. Conclusions: With the aim of better understanding the potential influence of the broader context on responses to individual cues, the present study examined the perceived salience of alcohol cues within a drinking setting. Findings provide evidence for alcohol cue salience that is both robust and also widespread across drinkers. More generally, the present study’s findings may offer new directions for understanding neurocognitive processes of alcohol cue salience across contexts.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)861-870
Number of pages10
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022


  • cue salience
  • ERP
  • alcohol administration
  • P3
  • Cue salience
  • Erp
  • Alcohol administration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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