Drinking dulls the brain’s response to threats

By Julie Steenhuysen
Tue Apr 29, 6:05 PM ET

CHICAGO (Reuters) –
Drinking alcohol dulls the brain’s
ability to detect threats, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday in
a study that helps explain why people who are drunk cannot tell
when the guy at the end of the bar is angling for a fight.

They said the study is the first to show how alcohol
affects the human brain as it responds to threats.


No duh. We’ve know that for a long time. We call it “beer goggles”. They only studied 12 people, and the method seemed a little iffy (brain MRI scans while showing people pictures, and while giving some intravenous alcohol and others intravenous salt water). Normally you’d want a lot more test subjects if you want to see a significant difference. And by significant, I mean true difference above the random noise.

But shaky methods aside, we can use the idea of a chemical that specifically targets the brain in such a way as to decrease the ability to perceive threats. How, you ask? Well, we could make a Daredevil-like superhero (the man who knows no fear). The protag hops himself up on the drug in order to go out and fight crime. His Achilles’ heel? Running out of the drug and then being afraid.

Or have a ninja/commando-type character who uses the drug to dose the enemy guards/guard dogs in order to have a technological version of a Jedi Mind Trick.

I guess the idea is less a plot and more a Cheap Plot Device (CPD). Oh well, they can’t all be winners.


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