Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychobiology, University of Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain.
The aim of the present study was to determine how binge drinking (BD) affects brain functioning in male and female university students during the performance of a visual discrimination task. Thirty two binge drinkers and 53 controls (non binge drinkers), with no history of other drug use, personal or family history of alcoholism or psychopathological disorders, were selected. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded during the performance of a visual oddball task. The latency and amplitude of the N2 and P3b components of the ERPs were analyzed. There were no differences between the groups in behavioral measures, but P3b amplitudes were significantly larger in binge drinkers than controls. This may suggest the presence of anomalies in neural processes mediating attention processing, or an imbalance (increased) of neuronal activity in P3b generators caused by the presence of BD pattern for a long time.