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The Psychology Newsletter for Spring 2013 (.PDF, 690 KB) covers updates for the Science IV and V Buildings, profiles some of our faculty and alumni (both Graduate & Undergraduate), and highlights our Honors students and awards winners from 2012.


Underage drinkers less sensitive to hangovers

Image of Linda SpearAdolescents are less sensitive to the physical effects of intoxication and hangovers, so may be less likely to moderate their alcohol consumption, according to Binghamton University researcher Linda Spear.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is using research conducted by Linda Spear, distinguished professor of psychology, to give middle-school children a science-based understanding of what can happen to them if they use alcohol. Spear has found that adolescents are less sensitive to the physical effects that emerge during intoxication and the hangover that follows. As a result, they may be less likely to moderate the amount of alcohol they consume.

With a particular emphasis on discerning factors that contribute to the onset of alcohol and drug use during adolescence, Spear explores whether adolescents differ from adults in terms of "liking" and "wanting" by studying reactions to various stimuli. Do adolescents more avidly seek such stimuli because they find natural rewards and drugs particularly rewarding, or because they are attempting to compensate for an age-related insensitivity to rewarding stimuli?

Spear continues to delve into the impact of drugs on brain development and the role of brain development in influencing drug responsiveness.

Learn more about Linda Spear and her research.

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Last Updated: 3/22/11