Background: The anterior cingulate and several other prefrontal and parietal brain regions are implicated in error processing and cognitive control. The effects of different doses of alcohol on activity within these brain regions during a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) task where errors are frequently committed have not been fully explored.
Methods: This study examined the impact of a placebo [breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) = 0.00%], moderate (BrAC = 0.05%), and high (BrAC = 0.10%) doses of alcohol on brain hemodynamic activity during a functional MRI (fMRI) Go/No-Go task in 38 healthy volunteers.
Results: Alcohol increased reaction time and false alarm errors in a dose-dependent manner. fMRI analyses showed alcohol decreased activity in anterior cingulate, lateral prefrontal cortex, insula, and parietal lobe regions during false alarm responses to No-Go stimuli.
Conclusions: These findings indicate that brain regions implicated in error processing are affected by alcohol and might provide a neural basis for alcohol’s effects on behavioral performance.