Monday, February 23, 2009

A similar state of drunkenness

There's a theory I've often heard, and, I confess, often repeated. I've no idea what scientific basis it may have amongst the authoritative researches of cognitive psychologists, but I feel it has a commonsense plausibility about it.


The theory states, basically, that you have better recall of things when you are in a similar state of mind to the state you were in when you first learned them. In fact, you may only be able to recall certain things when you are in a closely similar mental state to when you first learned them. This is particularly true of the radically altered states of mind that can be induced by the consumption of drugs or alcohol.

In short, things you discover while drunk can usually only be recalled when you achieve a similar state of drunkenness. You may have forgotten them completely while sober. You may not be able to recall them when less drunk or more drunk than when you first learned them. But if you can get almost exactly as drunk again, it all comes flooding back to you.

This is particularly useful, of course, when trying to remember the whereabouts of that really good new bar you stumbled upon by accident in the middle of an epic pub crawl. Or the phone number of that utterly gorgeous girl that you wrote down on the back of your hand but then washed off in a moment of self-destructive carelessness.


This theory is troubling me again just at the moment because I am being urged to take part in a trivia quiz tonight..... for the first time in..... ever such a long time.

And I reflect that, while I have been quite a formidable quizzer at various stages of my life, most of the quiz-worthy information that should be stored somewhere in my brain was in fact acquired at quizzes..... and hence while I was in a state of some drunkenness.

At present, sleep-deprived and perhaps ever-so-slightly hungover, but severely sober.... well, I struggle to remember my own name (when I start answering to 'Froog' in the bar, I'll know this whole blogging thing has gone too far!). I worry I'm not going to be of very much use to my team mates at all.

I need to work out exactly how drunk I usually used to get at the quizzes I took part in 15 or 20 years ago..... and try to achieve that state again. Wish me luck.

4 comments:

Froog said...

We wuz robbed.

Of course. (Nearly) Always happens.

I didn't completely disgrace myself, at least (thank god for the film round); but completely flunked on 'Current Affairs'. I just don't read British newspapers at all now, haven't for years. And American news not very much.

I am also sadly rusty on MandoPop and the Periodic Table.

I really need rounds on literature, history, "classic" TV, classical music, or popular music (before the 1990s) in order to flourish.

We were 'contenders', at least - even without our 'captain' and inspiration, The Weeble. But for one quizmaster aberration and three horrendous foot-shootings, we might actually have won.

Oh dear, I worry I'm getting hooked again...... Nooo.... noooooo......

The Weeble said...

Over-worked and under the weather. Next week!

Froog said...

I find myself insufficiently motivated. I think we need to find ourselves a quiz where the prize is something better than a shit bottle of wine.

Anonymous said...

I have found that coming out of a state of mental drunkenness a life built around "ISM",as my mental drunkenness caused from that life style,I truly understand how the mind understands at a similar state.