The Error Monitoring and Processing System in Alcohol Use

Background: Current data suggest that alcohol might play significant role in error commission. Error commission is related to the functions of the Error Monitoring and Processing System (EMPS) located in the substantia nigra of the midbrain, basal ganglia and cortex of the forebrain. The main components of the EMPS are the dopaminergic system and anterior cingulate cortex. Although, recent data show that alcohol disrupts the EMPS, the ways in which alcohol affects this system are poorly understood.

Aims & Objectives: We reviewed recent data that suggest the indirect effect of alcohol use on error commission.

Methods / Study Design: Databases were searched for relevant literatures using the following keywords combination – Alcohol AND Error Commission (OR Processing, Monitoring, Correction, Detection). Literatures were searched in scientific databases (Medline, DOAJ, Embase from 1940 to August 2010), journal website (Psychophysiology, Neuroscience and Trends in Neuroscience). Manual book search, including library information were included in the data collection process. Other additional information was searched through Google.

Results / Findings: Blood and brain glucose levels play a vital role in error commission, and are related to error commission, monitoring and processing through the modulation of the activity of the dopaminergic system. To summarize the resultsof our findings, here we suggest a hypothesis of Alcohol-Related Glucose-Dependent System of Error Monitoring and Processing (ARGD-EMPS hypothesis), which holds that the disruption of the EMPS is related to the competency of glucose homeostasis regulation, which in turn may determine the dopamine level as a major component of the EMPS. The ARGD-EMPS hypothesis explains the general processes and mechanism of alcohol related disruption of the EMPS.

Conclusion: Alcohol may indirectly disrupt the EMPS by affecting dopamine level through disorders in blood glucose homeostasis regulation. The effect of alcohol use on EMPS may be realized through its action on the blood/brain glucose level.

Author(s): Menizibeya O. Welcome, Yury E. Razvodovsky, Elena V. Pereverzeva, Vladimir A. Pereverzev

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