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The relationship between dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), working memory and distraction--a behavioral and electrophysiological approach.

do Vale S, Selinger L, Martins JM, Gomes AC, Bicho M, do Carmo I, Escera C - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: Under working memory load, a higher baseline cortisol/DHEA ratio was related to higher distraction as indexed by an enhanced novelty P3.An increased DHEA production with consecutive cognitive tasks was found and higher DHEA responses attributed to working memory load were related to enhanced working memory processing as indexed by an enhanced visual P300.Overall, the results suggest that in women DHEA may oppose cortisol effects reducing distraction and that a higher DHEA response may enhance working memory at the electrophysiological level.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior (IR3C), University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain; Cognitive Neuroscience Research Group, Psychiatry and Clinical Psychobiology Department, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain; Endocrinology University Clinic, Lisbon Medical School, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal; Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Department, Santa Maria University Hospital, Lisbon, Portugal; Metabolism and Endocrinology Center, Genetics Laboratory, Lisbon Medical School, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal.

ABSTRACT
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and dehydroepiandrosterone-sulphate (DHEAS) have been reported to have memory enhancement effects in humans. A neuro-stimulatory action and an anti-cortisol mechanism of action may contribute to that relation. In order to study DHEA, DHEAS and cortisol relations to working memory and distraction, we recorded the electroencephalogram of 23 young women performing a discrimination (no working memory load) or 1-back (working memory load) task in an audio-visual oddball paradigm. We measured salivary DHEA, DHEAS and cortisol both before each task and at 30 and 60 min. Under working memory load, a higher baseline cortisol/DHEA ratio was related to higher distraction as indexed by an enhanced novelty P3. This suggests that cortisol may lead to increased distraction whereas DHEA may hinder distraction by leading to less processing of the distractor. An increased DHEA production with consecutive cognitive tasks was found and higher DHEA responses attributed to working memory load were related to enhanced working memory processing as indexed by an enhanced visual P300. Overall, the results suggest that in women DHEA may oppose cortisol effects reducing distraction and that a higher DHEA response may enhance working memory at the electrophysiological level.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Performance results.A) Mean hit rate for each task and auditory stimulus type. B) Mean response time for each task and auditory stimulus type. C) Distraction costs for each task. Distraction = hit rate in standard minus novel trials or response time in novel minus standard trials. WM0 – discrimination task; WM1 – working memory task. Bars represent +/– standard error of the mean (SEM).
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pone-0104869-g002: Performance results.A) Mean hit rate for each task and auditory stimulus type. B) Mean response time for each task and auditory stimulus type. C) Distraction costs for each task. Distraction = hit rate in standard minus novel trials or response time in novel minus standard trials. WM0 – discrimination task; WM1 – working memory task. Bars represent +/– standard error of the mean (SEM).

Mentions: Behavioral results for each task and auditory stimulus are presented in Figure 2. Overall hit rate was 83±2% in WM0 and 70±2% in WM1 (figure 2A) and this difference in hit rate was significant, as reflected by a main effect of task [F(1,22) = 27.279, p<0.001]. Additionally, there was a main effect of task on response times [F(1,22) = 8.760, p = 0.007] with longer response times in WM1 [467±13 ms] than in WM0 [440±9 ms], see figure 2B. Thus, the WM load resulted in lower hit rates and longer response times.


The relationship between dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), working memory and distraction--a behavioral and electrophysiological approach.

do Vale S, Selinger L, Martins JM, Gomes AC, Bicho M, do Carmo I, Escera C - PLoS ONE (2014)

Performance results.A) Mean hit rate for each task and auditory stimulus type. B) Mean response time for each task and auditory stimulus type. C) Distraction costs for each task. Distraction = hit rate in standard minus novel trials or response time in novel minus standard trials. WM0 – discrimination task; WM1 – working memory task. Bars represent +/– standard error of the mean (SEM).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4126777&req=5

pone-0104869-g002: Performance results.A) Mean hit rate for each task and auditory stimulus type. B) Mean response time for each task and auditory stimulus type. C) Distraction costs for each task. Distraction = hit rate in standard minus novel trials or response time in novel minus standard trials. WM0 – discrimination task; WM1 – working memory task. Bars represent +/– standard error of the mean (SEM).
Mentions: Behavioral results for each task and auditory stimulus are presented in Figure 2. Overall hit rate was 83±2% in WM0 and 70±2% in WM1 (figure 2A) and this difference in hit rate was significant, as reflected by a main effect of task [F(1,22) = 27.279, p<0.001]. Additionally, there was a main effect of task on response times [F(1,22) = 8.760, p = 0.007] with longer response times in WM1 [467±13 ms] than in WM0 [440±9 ms], see figure 2B. Thus, the WM load resulted in lower hit rates and longer response times.

Bottom Line: Under working memory load, a higher baseline cortisol/DHEA ratio was related to higher distraction as indexed by an enhanced novelty P3.An increased DHEA production with consecutive cognitive tasks was found and higher DHEA responses attributed to working memory load were related to enhanced working memory processing as indexed by an enhanced visual P300.Overall, the results suggest that in women DHEA may oppose cortisol effects reducing distraction and that a higher DHEA response may enhance working memory at the electrophysiological level.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior (IR3C), University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain; Cognitive Neuroscience Research Group, Psychiatry and Clinical Psychobiology Department, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain; Endocrinology University Clinic, Lisbon Medical School, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal; Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Department, Santa Maria University Hospital, Lisbon, Portugal; Metabolism and Endocrinology Center, Genetics Laboratory, Lisbon Medical School, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal.

ABSTRACT
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and dehydroepiandrosterone-sulphate (DHEAS) have been reported to have memory enhancement effects in humans. A neuro-stimulatory action and an anti-cortisol mechanism of action may contribute to that relation. In order to study DHEA, DHEAS and cortisol relations to working memory and distraction, we recorded the electroencephalogram of 23 young women performing a discrimination (no working memory load) or 1-back (working memory load) task in an audio-visual oddball paradigm. We measured salivary DHEA, DHEAS and cortisol both before each task and at 30 and 60 min. Under working memory load, a higher baseline cortisol/DHEA ratio was related to higher distraction as indexed by an enhanced novelty P3. This suggests that cortisol may lead to increased distraction whereas DHEA may hinder distraction by leading to less processing of the distractor. An increased DHEA production with consecutive cognitive tasks was found and higher DHEA responses attributed to working memory load were related to enhanced working memory processing as indexed by an enhanced visual P300. Overall, the results suggest that in women DHEA may oppose cortisol effects reducing distraction and that a higher DHEA response may enhance working memory at the electrophysiological level.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus