Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have done some experiments with a group of people to see the effect of alcohol on the brain. It turned out that some people are born to get blackouts, while others do not get them.
The researchers divided 24 students into two groups, who regularly drank 3 nights a week with 5 drinks per evening. The groups were divided on whether the student had previously been having blackouts or not. During a brain scan the students had to perform a memory task being both sober and intoxicated.
While sober, everyone had the same brain activity, but already by the ingestion of a few objects the researchers could observe a great difference in brain activity among groups of students. For example, it was obvious to investigators that those who were prone to blackouts, had a reduced brain activity in the areas of the brain responsible for storing memories, attention and cognitive function.
Reagan Wetherill from Pennsylvania University says that during a blackout the brain is “offline”. Your brain functions, but it can not save the information. He also says that the reason some are prone to blackouts, and others are not, seems to be the way your brain is built. Some can handle alcohol, while others tend to get “overloaded” in their brain.