- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine have found that simply the taste of beer can influence someone to drink more.

The study reveals that the taste of beer leads the brain to release a hormone called dopamine, which controls the reward and pleasure centers of the brain, CBS News reports.

Researchers gave 49 men two separate scans, one when they tasted beer and one when they tasted Gatorade. They found that there were increased levels of dopamine when the men drank beer, even if they actually preferred the taste of the sports drink more. The study also found a significant increase in dopamine activity with participants who’s families had a history of alcoholism, CBS Philly reports.

“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,” Dr. David A. Kareken said in a press release.

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