Date of Award

Spring 2018

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Sarah A. Raskin, Ph.D.


College students have higher rates of alcohol-use disorders (AUDs) than that of same-aged non-college students, with an estimated 31% of U.S. college students meeting the diagnostic criteria for alcohol abuse (Borsari et al., 2007; Knight et al., 2002). College age is also a critical period for brain development, including regions responsible for the development of prospective memory (PM), making the brains of college students vulnerable to the effects of alcohol. This study investigated the influence of alcohol on the underlying brain activity associated with PM in light- and heavy-alcohol-drinking college students. PM was measured with the Memory for Intentions Screening Test (MIST), which assesses both time- and event-related PM. The physiological measure was administered via computer and electroencephalography (EEG) in a time-based PM paradigm. Levels of alcohol use were measured with the Alcohol and Drug Use Survey. Participants were divided into three alcohol consumption categories – nondrinkers, light drinkers, and heavy drinkers. We found a relationship between these alcohol use classifications and PM, such that participants who were classified as light drinkers were less likely to perform well in comparison to that of non- and heavy drinkers. Participants’ ability to recall the retrospective memory (RM) tasks suggested that the PM items were successfully encoded even though they may not have been carried out, and we did not observe a relationship between alcohol use classifications and RM.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience.