Other research has shown that alcohol(Drug information on alcohol)ics have blunted response to negative but not positive emotional stimuli, suggesting insensitivity to aversive stimuli.
The study involved 11 male alcoholic patients (mean age 35) and 11 healthy age-matched nonalcoholic males. Both groups underwent functional MRI assessment while performing a task involving emotional processing.
The study participants were asked to determine the intensity level of 240 standardized facial expressions-sad, happy, anger, fear, disgust, and non-emotional control stimuli.
Overall, alcoholic patients demonstrated less brain activation during decoding of all emotions compared with controls. Processing of negative emotions resulted in the largest differences between the groups.