A new study from my new neurobiologist hero Hitoshi Morikawa concludes that alcohol consumption triggers a kind of subconscious learning, different than say,
Whoa! Hold on there SCIENCE! I thought beer made me forget stuff, like my credit card at the bar or where I put my shoes or where am I?
When we drink alcohol (or shoot up heroin, or snort cocaine, or take methamphetamines), our subconscious is learning to consume more. But it doesn’t stop there. We become more receptive to forming subsconscious memories and habits with respect to food, music, even people and social situations … Among the things we learn is that drinking alcohol is rewarding. We also learn that going to the bar, chatting with friends, eating certain foods and listening to certain kinds of music are rewarding. The more often we do these things while drinking, and the more dopamine that gets released, the more “potentiated” the various synapses become and the more we crave the set of experiences and associations that orbit around the alcohol use.