August 17, 2009

The brain and the bottle

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No, it didn’t just happen to you, in front of you, all around you.

Alcoholics fail to read others’ faces accurately for emotional cues. 

The LA Times’ Melissa Healy reports that researchers used Magnetic Resonance Imaging to confirm the alcoholics’ unreliable brain activity when confronted with faces registering emotion

Simply put, their brains don’t recognize emotions.

They can stiffen with anger at what was meant to soften with sorrow.  They can fly right by a look planted with deliberation to elicit a question, a conversation, any need to communicate.  Relationships crack, then they splinter.

Still, that burning question is left unanswered: did turning to the bottle deaden that person’s emotional response, or was it the other way around?  Whatever the cycle, children of alcoholics are at far greater risk due both to  nature and nurture.

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