Learn About Alcohol's Effects on Reaction Times Video

Learn how alcohol affects your body and your mind by this series of tests.
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Male Speaker: I arranged a little experiment to show you guys how alcohol can affect your reaction time, mental acuity, coordination, judgment, and perception. Watch this. I'm here with Jamey, who'll be undergoing a series of tests that will measure his physical and mental well-being as he consumes alcohol. The purpose of this experiment is to determine what type of difference exists between his actual abilities and his perception of his abilities. Jamey is going to complete the first series of tests while completely sober. First, I'm going to drop this ball and see how quickly Jamey reacts. As soon as I release the ball, Jamey is going to hit the ball. This will test his reaction time. Watch the slow motion replay as we put Jamey's reaction time on screen. The clock starts once the ball leaves my hand and stops as soon as Jamey's hand makes contact with the ball. This next exercise will test Jamey's coordination. We are simply observing how difficult it is for Jamey to cross the balance beam. It seems pretty easy right now. Next, we'll test Jamey's mental acuity by timing him as he completes the maze. We are keeping the time hidden from Jamey, but you can see it on the screen. He is going to repeat these tests multiple times. However, Jamey, who is of legal age of 27 is going to consume a bottle of beer before the next test. Now, 15 minutes after his first beer, I'll give him a breathalyzer test to determine his blood alcohol concentration. Once we get a reading, look for it on the screen. I'm going to drop the ball from the same spot, and when Jamey sees it drop, he'll hit the ball. Again, watch the slow motion replay and watch for his reaction time on screen. We'll record the amount of time it takes Jamey to complete a maze of the same difficulty as the previous maze. Let's keep going. We'll put the results on the screen so you can observe any differences. However, you're going to have to watch closely to notice any difference in Jamey's coordination on the balance beam. So how do you feel now? Jamey: I feel fine. I don't really feel any ill effects of the alcohol at this point. Host: After three beers, do you feel like you are doing any better, worse, or performing consistently on these tests? Jamey: I feel like I am still doing pretty much the same as how I was doing before. My reaction time feels about the same and I think I feel like I nailed that last maze so I feel like I'm pretty much about the same. Host: Do you feel any difference after four beers? Do you think you could drive a car? Jamey: I do feel a little different now after four beers. I feel like the alcohol is having some kind of effect on me, I'm, maybe slow my reaction time a bit. However, I still definitely think I'm within the legal limit and could drive a car. Host: Five beers later, what are your thoughts? Jamey: When I see the five empty beers here, I have to think that I'm suffering some ill effects from the alcohol; however, after doing the tests, I don't really feel like, I'm getting that much slower, for instance, the reaction time test, I feel like I'm still doing pretty well on that, I'm knocking through the mazes. I feel like I'm not having very much trouble on the balance beam, so well, you know that I've had the five beers, I still feel like I'm okay. I might be near the legal limit, but I still think I'm okay to drive. Host: So, you've finished an entire six pack of beer. Honestly, how do you feel about your reaction time and your ability to drive a car? Jamey: Well, as far as my reaction time goes, I feel like I've been consistent on the bell test. I haven't felt that I've gotten any slower with that. Similar test like the balance beam, there is a little wavering there and on the maze I felt that I've been pretty easy throughout. So based upon that, I still think I can drive a car without too much difficulty. I'm probably near the legal limit, but still think I can drive a car. Host: Well, your blood alcohol concentration passed the legal l

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