Social and drug oriented drinking

AIMS: People consume alcohol for various reasons. Both social (i.e., drinking by peers) and more alcohol specific effects factors, such as the psychopharmacological effects of alcohol, influence drinking behaviour. The social aspects of alcohol use are included in this project by investigating the link between individual differences in drinking imitation in a Bar-Lab and neural responses to alcohol cues including social Bar - Labcontent (as measured with fMRI). The more alcohol-oriented aspects are measured by adapting the well-known monetary incentive delay task in such a way that we can actually measure brain activation in the striatum in anticipation to receiving a sip of beer. This project includes a group of social and heavy drinkers and also involves a one-year follow-up of drinking behaviour by means of ecological momentary assessments. We expect that those participants who show more drinking imitation will show more brain activation in mesolimbic brain regions in response to alcohol cues including social interaction. We also expect that anticipatory brain activation for receiving a sip of beer is stronger in heavy compared to social drinkers.

COLLABORATORS: This project is conducted by PhD student Martine Groefsema. Co-promotors & daily supervisors: Maartje Luijten & Guillaume Sescousse. Promotor: prof. Rutger Engels.

Groefsema, M., Engels, R., Kuntsche, E., Smit, K., Luijten, M. (2016). Cognitive biases for social alcohol-related pictures and alcohol use in specific social settings: An event-level study, Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 40(9), 2001-2010. PDF

Groefsema, M., Engels, R., Luijten, M. (2016). The role of social stimuli content in neuroimaging studies investigating alcohol cue-reactivity, Addictive Behaviors, 58,
123-128. PDF

Smit, K., Groefsema, M., Luijten, M., Engels, R., & Kuntsche, E. (2015). Drinking Motives Moderate the Effect of the Social Environment on Alcohol Use: An Event-Level Study Among Young Adults. Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs76(6), 971-980. PDF

FUNDING: This project is directly funded by the Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University.