Anecdotal reports link alcohol intoxication to creativity, while cognitive research highlights the crucial role of cognitive control for creative thought. A study, published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition, examined the effects of mild alcohol intoxication on creative cognition in a placebocontrolled design.
Participants completed executive and creative cognition tasks before and after consuming either alcoholic beer (BAC of 0.03) or non-alcoholic beer (placebo). Alcohol impaired executive control, but improved performance in the Remote Associates Test, and did not affect divergent thinking ability.
The findings indicate that certain aspects of creative cognition benefit from mild attenuations of cognitive control, and contribute to the growing evidence that higher cognitive control is not always associated with better cognitive performance.
Source: Creativity on tap? Effects of alcohol intoxication on creative cognition. Benedek M, Panzierer L, Jauk E, Neubauer AC. Consciousness and Cognition. Published online 10 July 2017 open access.