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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

Cortisol levels for the two conditions at four time points. There was a significant time × condition interaction (F (3, 93) = 4.22, p < 0.05, partial η2 = 0.11) for cortisol with the stress condition yielding higher cortisol levels relative to the control condition in Block 3 (p < 0.05).
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brainsci-05-00201-f002: Cortisol levels for the two conditions at four time points. There was a significant time × condition interaction (F (3, 93) = 4.22, p < 0.05, partial η2 = 0.11) for cortisol with the stress condition yielding higher cortisol levels relative to the control condition in Block 3 (p < 0.05).

Mentions: There was a significant time × condition interaction (F (3, 93) = 4.22, p < 0.05, partial η2 = 0.11). To investigate this interaction, independent-samples t-tests were conducted to compare cortisol levels between conditions at each timepoint (baseline and Blocks 1–3). As can be seen in Figure 2, there was a significant difference in the cortisol levels at Block 3 between the stress (M = 0.23, SD = 0.11) and control (M = 0.16, SD = 0.07) conditions; t(31)= −2.13, p = 0.04, d = 0.76.


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)

Cortisol levels for the two conditions at four time points. There was a significant time × condition interaction (F (3, 93) = 4.22, p < 0.05, partial η2 = 0.11) for cortisol with the stress condition yielding higher cortisol levels relative to the control condition in Block 3 (p < 0.05).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

brainsci-05-00201-f002: Cortisol levels for the two conditions at four time points. There was a significant time × condition interaction (F (3, 93) = 4.22, p < 0.05, partial η2 = 0.11) for cortisol with the stress condition yielding higher cortisol levels relative to the control condition in Block 3 (p < 0.05).
Mentions: There was a significant time × condition interaction (F (3, 93) = 4.22, p < 0.05, partial η2 = 0.11). To investigate this interaction, independent-samples t-tests were conducted to compare cortisol levels between conditions at each timepoint (baseline and Blocks 1–3). As can be seen in Figure 2, there was a significant difference in the cortisol levels at Block 3 between the stress (M = 0.23, SD = 0.11) and control (M = 0.16, SD = 0.07) conditions; t(31)= −2.13, p = 0.04, d = 0.76.

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