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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

SART performance. There was impaired target accuracy and delayed reaction time on the SART at 15 min and 30 min following stress (black bars represent 1 standard error). Asterisks indicate a statistical difference between stress and control condition at p < 0.05.
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brainsci-05-00201-f004: SART performance. There was impaired target accuracy and delayed reaction time on the SART at 15 min and 30 min following stress (black bars represent 1 standard error). Asterisks indicate a statistical difference between stress and control condition at p < 0.05.

Mentions: Figure 4 presents the average of target response accuracy and non-target reaction time, separated by time and condition. We analyzed the target accuracy, non-target accuracy, non-target reaction time, and TUTs using a series of 2 (time) × 2 (condition) mixed-model ANOVA with condition as the between subjects factor. This analysis revealed a significant main effect of condition on target accuracy for SART performance at Block 1 (F (1, 31) = 4.19, p < 0.05, partial η2 = 0.12) and Block 2 (F (1, 31) = 4.20, p < 0.05, partial η2 = 0.12); the stress condition had lower target accuracy (Block 1 M = 14.58, SD = 6.05 and Block 2 M = 14.36, SD = 5.67) than the control condition (Block 1 M = 18.00, SD = 1.75 and Block 2 M = 17.71, SD = 2.58). No effect of time or time by condition interaction was observed (all ps > 0.05). No significant effect of time, condition, or time × condition interaction were observed for non-target accuracy (all ps > 0.05). A significant effect of time was found for non-target reaction time (F (1, 31) = 11.76, p < 0.01, partial η2 = 0.27), but no effect of condition or time × condition (all ps > 0.05). Reaction time for non-target trials were longer during Block 1 (M = 301.12 ms SD = 94.41) than during Block 2 (M = 271.21 ms SD = 78.50).


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)

SART performance. There was impaired target accuracy and delayed reaction time on the SART at 15 min and 30 min following stress (black bars represent 1 standard error). Asterisks indicate a statistical difference between stress and control condition at p < 0.05.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

brainsci-05-00201-f004: SART performance. There was impaired target accuracy and delayed reaction time on the SART at 15 min and 30 min following stress (black bars represent 1 standard error). Asterisks indicate a statistical difference between stress and control condition at p < 0.05.
Mentions: Figure 4 presents the average of target response accuracy and non-target reaction time, separated by time and condition. We analyzed the target accuracy, non-target accuracy, non-target reaction time, and TUTs using a series of 2 (time) × 2 (condition) mixed-model ANOVA with condition as the between subjects factor. This analysis revealed a significant main effect of condition on target accuracy for SART performance at Block 1 (F (1, 31) = 4.19, p < 0.05, partial η2 = 0.12) and Block 2 (F (1, 31) = 4.20, p < 0.05, partial η2 = 0.12); the stress condition had lower target accuracy (Block 1 M = 14.58, SD = 6.05 and Block 2 M = 14.36, SD = 5.67) than the control condition (Block 1 M = 18.00, SD = 1.75 and Block 2 M = 17.71, SD = 2.58). No effect of time or time by condition interaction was observed (all ps > 0.05). No significant effect of time, condition, or time × condition interaction were observed for non-target accuracy (all ps > 0.05). A significant effect of time was found for non-target reaction time (F (1, 31) = 11.76, p < 0.01, partial η2 = 0.27), but no effect of condition or time × condition (all ps > 0.05). Reaction time for non-target trials were longer during Block 1 (M = 301.12 ms SD = 94.41) than during Block 2 (M = 271.21 ms SD = 78.50).

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