Some are willing to go 12 hours without a nap and have their height measured twice a day. Others are willing to have their finger pricked for blood-typing. And some will take six shots of liquor on a Saturday afternoon, all in the name of science.
On Nov. 19, juniors Corrin Wilson, Taralyn Hoflen and David Lanning are putting the effects of alcohol on brainwaves to the test for their Principles of Physics class.
Four men and four women – all over the age of 21 – will be participating in an experiment which will test the effects of alcohol on brainwaves, specifically alpha frequency and amplitude.
The three testers hypothesize alpha-wave frequency and amplitude will increase with the consumption of alcohol and weight and gender will have an effect on blood alcohol level.
“We thought this would be an appealing project because we are college students and a lot of college students consume large amounts of alcohol without thinking about the consequences,” Wilson said.
The experiment will take place at Kappa Theta Psi, beginning at noon. The volunteers will all eat the same meal at that time.
Then a breathalyzer will be given along with an electroencephalograph, a test that measures brainwave activity. The equipment necessary was obtained through Steve Emerman, associate professor of geology.
A shot of 80-proof alcohol – Captain Morgan spiced rum – will be consumed every ten minutes for an hour, a total of 6 shots. After the first three shots, another breathalyzer and EEG test will be taken. The last three shots will be taken every ten minutes as well, followed by another test. The last breathalyzer and EEG test will be conducted 50 minutes after the last shot was consumed.
Senior Ryan Laughlin will be participating in the experiment.
“It’s important for a group to do a project they really care about and feel is relevant to their lives,” Laughlin said. “As a biology major, I understand that. Plus, it’s free booze.”
As for security and legal issues, all participants are at least 21-years-old and Director of Security, Chris Frerichs, said Simpson Security will not be involved.
Frerichs said he didn’t know about the project until Wilson sent out a mass e-mail looking for participants.
“As long as they have approval for the use of alcohol by the administration and understand the school’s policy, there shouldn’t be a problem,” Frerichs said.