Title

The Effects of Acute Stress on Human Prefrontal Working Memory Systems

Document Type

Article

Language

eng

Format of Original

8 p.

Publication Date

10-2008

Publisher

Elsevier

Source Publication

Physiology and Behavior

Source ISSN

0031-9384

Original Item ID

doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2008.04.027; Shelves: QP351 .P55 Memorial Periodicals

Abstract

We examined the relationship between acute stress and prefrontal-cortex (PFC) based working memory (WM) systems using behavioral (Experiment 1) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI; Experiment 2) paradigms. Subjects performed a delayed-response item-recognition task, with alternating blocks of high and low WM demand trials. During scanning, participants performed this task under three stress conditions: cold stress (induced by cold-water hand-immersion), a room temperature water control (induced by tepid-water hand-immersion), and no-water control (no hand-immersion). Performance was affected by WM demand, but not stress. Cold stress elicited greater salivary cortisol readings in behavioral subjects, and greater PFC signal change in fMRI subjects, than control conditions. These results suggest that, under stress, increases in PFC activity may be necessary to mediate cognitive processes that maintain behavioral organization.

Comments

Physiology and Behavior, Vol. 95, No. 3 (October 2008): 282-289. DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2008.04.027.

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