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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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Event Related Brain Potentials (ERPs).A) Grand average waveforms at Cz for both tasks (WM0 and WM1) and type of sound (standard and novel). B) Auditory P3 (aud P3) amplitude for each task (WM0 and WM1) and type of sound (standard and novel). C) Grand-average of novel minus standard difference waves at Cz. WM0 – discrimination task; WM1 – working memory task; NovP3 – novelty P3; s - seconds. Bars represent +/– standard error of the mean (SEM).
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pone-0104869-g003: Event Related Brain Potentials (ERPs).A) Grand average waveforms at Cz for both tasks (WM0 and WM1) and type of sound (standard and novel). B) Auditory P3 (aud P3) amplitude for each task (WM0 and WM1) and type of sound (standard and novel). C) Grand-average of novel minus standard difference waves at Cz. WM0 – discrimination task; WM1 – working memory task; NovP3 – novelty P3; s - seconds. Bars represent +/– standard error of the mean (SEM).

Mentions: As can be seen in figure 3A, novel sounds elicited larger auditory P3 mean amplitudes when compared to standard sounds, both in WM0 [F(1,22) = 63.696, p<0.001; −3.3±0.5 µV in standard and +1.6±0.7 µV in novel trials] and in WM1 [F(1,22) = 98.333, p<0.001; −4.1±0.4 µV in standard and +1.9±0.6 µV in novel trials], see figure 3B. This supports that a significant novelty P3 was elicited by novel sounds (figure 3C). However, WM load did not influence the novelty-P3, as its amplitude was similar in both tasks [F(1,22) = 3.381, p = 0.079, 5.0±0.6 µV in WM0, and 5.9±0.6 µV in WM1]. Neither clear N1-enhancement/MMN nor RON was elicited. In sum, significant novelty-P3 responses were elicited by novel sounds in both conditions, but without any significant difference between conditions.


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)

Event Related Brain Potentials (ERPs).A) Grand average waveforms at Cz for both tasks (WM0 and WM1) and type of sound (standard and novel). B) Auditory P3 (aud P3) amplitude for each task (WM0 and WM1) and type of sound (standard and novel). C) Grand-average of novel minus standard difference waves at Cz. WM0 – discrimination task; WM1 – working memory task; NovP3 – novelty P3; s - seconds. Bars represent +/– standard error of the mean (SEM).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone-0104869-g003: Event Related Brain Potentials (ERPs).A) Grand average waveforms at Cz for both tasks (WM0 and WM1) and type of sound (standard and novel). B) Auditory P3 (aud P3) amplitude for each task (WM0 and WM1) and type of sound (standard and novel). C) Grand-average of novel minus standard difference waves at Cz. WM0 – discrimination task; WM1 – working memory task; NovP3 – novelty P3; s - seconds. Bars represent +/– standard error of the mean (SEM).
Mentions: As can be seen in figure 3A, novel sounds elicited larger auditory P3 mean amplitudes when compared to standard sounds, both in WM0 [F(1,22) = 63.696, p<0.001; −3.3±0.5 µV in standard and +1.6±0.7 µV in novel trials] and in WM1 [F(1,22) = 98.333, p<0.001; −4.1±0.4 µV in standard and +1.9±0.6 µV in novel trials], see figure 3B. This supports that a significant novelty P3 was elicited by novel sounds (figure 3C). However, WM load did not influence the novelty-P3, as its amplitude was similar in both tasks [F(1,22) = 3.381, p = 0.079, 5.0±0.6 µV in WM0, and 5.9±0.6 µV in WM1]. Neither clear N1-enhancement/MMN nor RON was elicited. In sum, significant novelty-P3 responses were elicited by novel sounds in both conditions, but without any significant difference between conditions.

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