Brain and Alcohol Research with College Students
central connecticut state university
university of connecticut
Welcome To Our Website
What Is BARCS?
The BARCS (Brain and Alcohol Research with College Students) study is an important effort sponsored by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, designed to answer questions frequently asked by scientists, legislators, students and users of alcohol, but whose answers are essentially unknown.
Alcohol is the most widely
used recreational substance in the United States and most Western
cultures, but despite millions of users and years of study by
researchers, many important facts are still essentially unknown about
alcohol's effects. The nature of the relationship between adolescent
alcohol use and cognitive performance is uncertain. Some studies find no
neuropsychological (cognitive) problems in adolescents with alcohol or
other substance use,58-60 while others report significantly poorer
cognitive functioning relative to non-using youth. There are well known
acute cognitive effects of alcohol when people are intoxicated, but
chronic effects, if any, are poorly explored, especially at moderate
Many prior studies of
college student drinking have been small scale in nature, or have made
important assumptions about the people they are studying that prevented
them from being fully open-minded about the results. Because BARCS is
both large-scale, follows people over time and is representative of
college students from diverse backgrounds it should be able to address
many of these unanswered questions more definitively.
One thing that's important to emphasize though is the greater the number of people participating in the study, the more generalizable the results.