London: Drinking two pints of beer or two medium glasses of wine alcohol can sharpen the mind, say researchers.
A study by University of Illinois psychologists has found that men who enjoy a relaxing drink are actually better at solving brain teasers than those who are stone cold sober.
Not only did the thirstier chaps get more questions right, they were also quicker in delivering the correct responses, the Daily Mail reported.
It is thought that alcohol hinders analytical thinking, allowing creative thoughts that otherwise might be stifled to take root. This makes it easier to find imaginative solutions to problems.
In the study, the psychologists set 40 healthy young men in a series of brain teasers.
These involved being given three words, such as coin, quick and spoon, and coming up with a fourth word that links all three (in this case the word being silver).
Half drank the equivalent of two pints of beer before doing the tests, the rest carried them out sober.
The drinking group solved nearly 40 per cent more problems than the others and took an average of 12 seconds per question, compared to the 15.5 seconds needed by the sober subjects.
“The current research represents the first demonstration of alcohol’s effect on creative problem solving,” researchers said.
Co-author Jennifer Wiley added: “We tested what happens when people are slightly merry – not when people drink to extremes.
“The bottom line is that we think being too focused can blind you to novel possibilities, and a broader, more flexible state of attention is needed for creative solutions to emerge,” she stated.
The researchers described their findings in the journal Consciousness and Cognition.