Science just keeps getting weirder. Just when you thought you had heard it all, a new study has found that noise actually has an effect on the taste of alcohol, or at least, our perception of the taste of alcohol. Dr. Lorenzo Stafford, a psychologist from the University of Portsmouth, conducted a study in which volunteers were asked to drink various alcoholic beverages with different alcohol percentages. They were given different levels of distractions—no distraction, reading the news aloud, loud dance music and reading the news aloud while listening to loud music. They were then asked to rate each drink's alcohol content, sweetness and bitterness. The results found that participants rated the beverages significantly sweeter when they were only exposed to loud music. "This is an interesting finding as we might have expected the music in addition to repeating a news story to exert a more distracting effect on taste judgment," Dr. Stafford observed. "It appears that our primary sense of taste is somewhat immune to very distracting conditions but is indeed influenced by music alone." The study was conducted to investigate research that people drink faster when exposed to loud music. “Since humans have an innate preference for sweetness, these findings offer a plausible explanation as to why people consume more alcohol in noisy environments," Dr. Stafford said. So the next time you get sloppy drunk at a loud bar, blame it on Lady Gaga.
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