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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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Endocrine results.A) Mean DHEA levels for each task and order. B) DHEA response for each task and order. C) Mean cortisol levels for each task and order. D) DHEA and cortisol responses (after task/before task ratios) were directly related in the discrimination task. E) DHEA and cortisol responses were directly related in the working memory task. WM0 – discrimination task; WM1 – working memory task; DHEA response: DHEA after task/before task ratio; Cortisol response: Cortisol after task/before task ratio; order WM0-WM1 – the discrimination task performed firstly and the working memory task performed secondly; order WM1-WM0 – the working memory task performed firstly and the discrimination task performed secondly. Error bars represent +/− standard error of the mean (SEM).
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pone-0104869-g005: Endocrine results.A) Mean DHEA levels for each task and order. B) DHEA response for each task and order. C) Mean cortisol levels for each task and order. D) DHEA and cortisol responses (after task/before task ratios) were directly related in the discrimination task. E) DHEA and cortisol responses were directly related in the working memory task. WM0 – discrimination task; WM1 – working memory task; DHEA response: DHEA after task/before task ratio; Cortisol response: Cortisol after task/before task ratio; order WM0-WM1 – the discrimination task performed firstly and the working memory task performed secondly; order WM1-WM0 – the working memory task performed firstly and the discrimination task performed secondly. Error bars represent +/− standard error of the mean (SEM).

Mentions: The waveforms elicited by standard trials in the two tasks are presented in Figure 4. The N2b significantly increased in WM1 as compared to WM0 [F(1,21) = 6.738, p = 0.017; −1.8±0.9 µV in WM0 and −3.3±0.6 µV in WM1] (see figure 4A and 5B).


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)

Endocrine results.A) Mean DHEA levels for each task and order. B) DHEA response for each task and order. C) Mean cortisol levels for each task and order. D) DHEA and cortisol responses (after task/before task ratios) were directly related in the discrimination task. E) DHEA and cortisol responses were directly related in the working memory task. WM0 – discrimination task; WM1 – working memory task; DHEA response: DHEA after task/before task ratio; Cortisol response: Cortisol after task/before task ratio; order WM0-WM1 – the discrimination task performed firstly and the working memory task performed secondly; order WM1-WM0 – the working memory task performed firstly and the discrimination task performed secondly. Error 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-g005: Endocrine results.A) Mean DHEA levels for each task and order. B) DHEA response for each task and order. C) Mean cortisol levels for each task and order. D) DHEA and cortisol responses (after task/before task ratios) were directly related in the discrimination task. E) DHEA and cortisol responses were directly related in the working memory task. WM0 – discrimination task; WM1 – working memory task; DHEA response: DHEA after task/before task ratio; Cortisol response: Cortisol after task/before task ratio; order WM0-WM1 – the discrimination task performed firstly and the working memory task performed secondly; order WM1-WM0 – the working memory task performed firstly and the discrimination task performed secondly. Error bars represent +/− standard error of the mean (SEM).
Mentions: The waveforms elicited by standard trials in the two tasks are presented in Figure 4. The N2b significantly increased in WM1 as compared to WM0 [F(1,21) = 6.738, p = 0.017; −1.8±0.9 µV in WM0 and −3.3±0.6 µV in WM1] (see figure 4A and 5B).

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