Even tiny amounts of beer taste can excite brain.
A new study from the Indiana University School of Medicine shows that just the taste of beer can trigger the desire to drink more.
The study involved 49 men that had 15 milliliters of water, a sports drink, and then their favorite beer sprayed into their mouth, while their brain was being monitored for activity.
The amount of beer didn’t contain enough alcohol to affect their brain, but even a taste of beer caused a chemical reaction that released dopamine in their brain, and the subjects all said they wanted to have an alcoholic drink afterwards.
Dopamine is associated with the reward part of the brain, and drinking alcohol releases an increased level of dopamine in the reward pathway.
Professor David Kareken said: "We believe this is the first experiment in humans to show that the taste of an alcoholic drink alone, without any intoxicating effect from the alcohol, can elicit this dopamine activity in the brain's reward centers.”
The men who had a history of alcoholism in their family released more dopamine than the other subjects.