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Acute Stress Dysregulates the LPP ERP Response to Emotional Pictures and Impairs Sustained Attention: Time-Sensitive Effects.

Alomari RA, Fernandez M, Banks JB, Acosta J, Tartar JL - Brain Sci (2015)

Bottom Line: We found that the effects of stress on the LPP ERP emotion measure were time sensitive.Moreover, compared to the non-stress condition, the stress-condition showed impaired performance on the SART.Our results support the idea that a limit in attention resources after an emotional stressor is associated with the brain incorrectly processing non-emotional stimuli as emotional and interferes with sustained attention.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33314, USA. ra714@nova.edu.

ABSTRACT
Stress can increase emotional vigilance at the cost of a decrease in attention towards non-emotional stimuli. However, the time-dependent effects of acute stress on emotion processing are uncertain. We tested the effects of acute stress on subsequent emotion processing up to 40 min following an acute stressor. Our measure of emotion processing was the late positive potential (LPP) component of the visual event-related potential (ERP), and our measure of non-emotional attention was the sustained attention to response task (SART). We also measured cortisol levels before and after the socially evaluated cold pressor test (SECPT) induction. We found that the effects of stress on the LPP ERP emotion measure were time sensitive. Specifically, the LPP ERP was only altered in the late time-point (30-40 min post-stress) when cortisol was at its highest level. Here, the LPP no longer discriminated between the emotional and non-emotional picture categories, most likely because neutral pictures were perceived as emotional. Moreover, compared to the non-stress condition, the stress-condition showed impaired performance on the SART. Our results support the idea that a limit in attention resources after an emotional stressor is associated with the brain incorrectly processing non-emotional stimuli as emotional and interferes with sustained attention.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

The testing procedure. The testing procedure consisted of 3 testing Blocks after stress (SECPT) or control stress induction.
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brainsci-05-00201-f001: The testing procedure. The testing procedure consisted of 3 testing Blocks after stress (SECPT) or control stress induction.

Mentions: All testing took place in the afternoon between 2–4 pm in order to control for the circadian variation of cortisol. Participants were first fitted with an electrode cap. Four saliva samples were taken during the study: One as a baseline measure and three additional samples at different time-points after the stressor. A stopwatch was used to ensure consistent timing in the collection of saliva between participants. Following the baseline saliva collection, the participants were exposed to either the SECPT (stress condition) or room temperature water (control (CTL) condition); condition designation (stress vs. control) was randomized. As shown in Figure 1, the participants were tested three times (across three blocks of testing) after stress or control exposure. Block 1 occurred 1–15 min after the stress, Block 2 occurred 15–30 min after the stress, and Block 3 occurred 30–40 min after the stress. Blocks 1 and 2 each included a saliva sample, followed by EEG testing, and SART. Together, these within-block activities kept participants actively engaged between saliva samples, which were collected every 15 min. The last saliva sample was taken at the start of Block 3, and was followed by EEG testing. This final block did not include the SART. Within each block, the saliva collection took approximately 1 min, the EEG took approximately 9 min, and the SART took approximately 5 min.


Acute Stress Dysregulates the LPP ERP Response to Emotional Pictures and Impairs Sustained Attention: Time-Sensitive Effects.

Alomari RA, Fernandez M, Banks JB, Acosta J, Tartar JL - Brain Sci (2015)

The testing procedure. The testing procedure consisted of 3 testing Blocks after stress (SECPT) or control stress induction.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4493465&req=5

brainsci-05-00201-f001: The testing procedure. The testing procedure consisted of 3 testing Blocks after stress (SECPT) or control stress induction.
Mentions: All testing took place in the afternoon between 2–4 pm in order to control for the circadian variation of cortisol. Participants were first fitted with an electrode cap. Four saliva samples were taken during the study: One as a baseline measure and three additional samples at different time-points after the stressor. A stopwatch was used to ensure consistent timing in the collection of saliva between participants. Following the baseline saliva collection, the participants were exposed to either the SECPT (stress condition) or room temperature water (control (CTL) condition); condition designation (stress vs. control) was randomized. As shown in Figure 1, the participants were tested three times (across three blocks of testing) after stress or control exposure. Block 1 occurred 1–15 min after the stress, Block 2 occurred 15–30 min after the stress, and Block 3 occurred 30–40 min after the stress. Blocks 1 and 2 each included a saliva sample, followed by EEG testing, and SART. Together, these within-block activities kept participants actively engaged between saliva samples, which were collected every 15 min. The last saliva sample was taken at the start of Block 3, and was followed by EEG testing. This final block did not include the SART. Within each block, the saliva collection took approximately 1 min, the EEG took approximately 9 min, and the SART took approximately 5 min.

Bottom Line: We found that the effects of stress on the LPP ERP emotion measure were time sensitive.Moreover, compared to the non-stress condition, the stress-condition showed impaired performance on the SART.Our results support the idea that a limit in attention resources after an emotional stressor is associated with the brain incorrectly processing non-emotional stimuli as emotional and interferes with sustained attention.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33314, USA. ra714@nova.edu.

ABSTRACT
Stress can increase emotional vigilance at the cost of a decrease in attention towards non-emotional stimuli. However, the time-dependent effects of acute stress on emotion processing are uncertain. We tested the effects of acute stress on subsequent emotion processing up to 40 min following an acute stressor. Our measure of emotion processing was the late positive potential (LPP) component of the visual event-related potential (ERP), and our measure of non-emotional attention was the sustained attention to response task (SART). We also measured cortisol levels before and after the socially evaluated cold pressor test (SECPT) induction. We found that the effects of stress on the LPP ERP emotion measure were time sensitive. Specifically, the LPP ERP was only altered in the late time-point (30-40 min post-stress) when cortisol was at its highest level. Here, the LPP no longer discriminated between the emotional and non-emotional picture categories, most likely because neutral pictures were perceived as emotional. Moreover, compared to the non-stress condition, the stress-condition showed impaired performance on the SART. Our results support the idea that a limit in attention resources after an emotional stressor is associated with the brain incorrectly processing non-emotional stimuli as emotional and interferes with sustained attention.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus