In this research area we aim to generate high-quality research to understand psychological, behavioral and neurocognitive factors related to alcohol use and alcohol hangover. To conduct our research, we utilise a range of advanced research techniques. We use computerised batteries to assess cognition, neuroimaging to measure brain function and structure, and an array of biological tests to determine markers relevant to alcohol and alcohol hangover.

Our research comprises clinical trials, national and international online surveys and field studies. We collaborate with leading international scientists and work with national and international industry partners to generate original and high-quality research.

Our studies

This clinical trial examined the effects of alcohol hangover on cognitive multitasking, stress reactivity and mood. We found that mood and multitasking ability were significantly impaired, and participants reported significantly greater levels of mental demand, effort and frustration in the hangover condition. However, cognitive stress did not elicit changes in mood and/or stress levels, suggesting that mood states were already too low to change further.


Dr Sarah Benson

+61 3 9214 5212

This online survey assessed alcohol use and negative alcohol-related consequences according to the type of alcoholic drinks consumed and student status. We found that those who consume alcohol mixed with energy drinks (AMED) consume more alcohol than those who don’t use AMED. But those who do mix, drink less and experience fewer negative alcohol-related consequences when mixing compared to when drinking alcohol without energy drinks. These findings suggest that AMED use is one manifestation of a risk-taking personality. We also found that non-students drink more alcohol and are involved in more negative alcohol-related consequences than students.


Dr Sarah Benson

+61 3 9214 5212

Alcohol Hangover and Multitasking: Effects on Mood, Cognitive Performance, Stress Reactivity, and Perceived Effort. doi:10.3390/jcm9041154

Effects of Alcohol Hangover on Cognitive Performance: Findings from a Field/Internet Mixed Methodology Study. doi:10.3390/jcm8040440

Attentional and working memory performance following alcohol and energy drink: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, factorial design laboratory study.

Updating the Definition of the Alcohol Hangover. doi:10.3390/jcm9030823

Consumption Patterns of Alcohol and Alcohol mixed with Energy Drinks in Australian Students and Non-Students. doi:10.3390/nu12010149

Our research in the media

Explore our other research programs

Contact the Centre for Human Psychopharmacology

There are many ways to engage with us. If your organisation is dealing with a complex problem, get in touch to discuss how we can work together to provide solutions. Call us on +61 3 9214 4444 or email

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