Wine could help cure writers block and make you more creative

Every poet and writer in history seemed to have been fuelled by alcohol in one shape or another, and previously we've all just written it off as a danger of the job.

But could alcohol actually boost creativity?

In research published last month in the journal Consciousness & Cognition, a group of Austrian scientists have demonstrated that a glass of beer (or indeed wine) can help to boost abstract thinking and improve creative problem-solving.

Led by Dr Mathias Benedek from the University of Graz, the research team tested the cognition of a group of 70 participants using blind trials. Half of the group drank non-alcoholic beer, the others full-strength, with tests administered before and after drinking.

The results showed a particular increase amongst the full-strength drinkers in a 'Remote Associations Test' - which shows the ability to creatively link three unrelated words.

Of course, there has to be a downside, and the drinkers also scored lower in 'executive control', which means that some of their organisational skills might be impaired. A price worth paying?

As Benedek explained in an interview with The Independent, this 'might well work for someone who is sitting down to do creative writing or brainstorming ideas in a boardroom.'

The study also notes that the benefits are likely to be limited to very modest amounts of alcohol. Still, it does make it even easier to justify pouring yourself a glass next time you're in need of inspiration...