Getting blackout drunk usually means forgetting what you had done for long periods of time. And while sometimes you’re reminded by friends or family, the real blackout caused by alcohol causes a black spot in your memory. It’s often said that such blackouts occur due to the alcohol killing brain cells. Well, this is not true at all.
Total blackouts, also called fragmentary blackouts, actually make your brain stop recording everything, even though you’re able to send drunken text messages or lead a “sophisticated” conversation. The alcohol you have consumed interferes with your hippocampus – the part of your brain, which is responsible for memory formation. When the alcohol interferes with the neurons in your hippocampus, it prevents those neurons from “communicating” with each other and preventing your brain from performing its natural function. In other words, it makes your brain unable to create new memories and record the latest events.
One of the ways to avoid a total blackout is to eat something before you go drinking, since the lack of food in your stomach will raise your alcohol blood level easily.
Actually total blackout occur really rare. The most common is referred by the term “brownout” which means that a person have some memories, but can’t remember details.
A recent study tried 24 your students who had the ability to multi task. They were given memory exercises both while completely sober and while drunk. The study showed that some of them just suddenly “switched” their memory off. According to scientists this is due to a chemical interacting with the part of the brain responsible for forming memories. The truth is that some people don’t really need large amounts of alcohol to forget the night before. Every person reacts different to different alcohol quantities.