Accession Number : ADA535824


Title :   Stress Potentiates Early and Attenuates Late Stages of Visual Processing


Descriptive Note : Journal article


Corporate Author : WISCONSIN UNIV-MADISON DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY


Personal Author(s) : Shackman, Alexander J ; Maxwell, Jeffrey S ; McMenamin, Brenton W ; Greischar, Lawrence L ; Davidson, Richard J


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a535824.pdf


Report Date : 19 Jan 2011


Pagination or Media Count : 16


Abstract : Stress can fundamentally alter neural responses to incoming information. Recent research suggests that stress and anxiety shift the balance of attention away from a task-directed mode, governed by prefrontal cortex, to a sensory-vigilance mode, governed by the amygdala and other threat-sensitive regions. A key untested prediction of this framework is that stress exerts dissociable effects on different stages of information processing. This study exploited the temporal resolution afforded by event-related potentials to disentangle the impact of stress on vigilance, indexed by early perceptual activity, from its impact on task-directed cognition, indexed by later postperceptual activity in humans. Results indicated that threat of shock amplified stress, measured using retrospective ratings and concurrent facial electromyography. Stress also double-dissociated early sensory-specific processing from later task-directed processing of emotionally neutral stimuli: stress amplified N1 (184 -236 ms) and attenuated P3 (316-488 ms) activity. This demonstrates that stress can have strikingly different consequences at different processing stages. Consistent with recent suggestions, stress amplified earlier extrastriate activity in a manner consistent with vigilance for threat (N1), but disrupted later activity associated with the evaluation of task-relevant information (P3). These results provide a novel basis for understanding how stress can modulate information processing in everyday life and stress-sensitive disorders.


Descriptors :   *ANXIETY , *STRESS(PSYCHOLOGY) , *VISUAL PERCEPTION , RESPONSE , SHOCK , ELECTROMYOGRAPHY , NERVOUS SYSTEM , ATTENTION , INFORMATION PROCESSING , FACE(ANATOMY) , SENSITIVITY , PROCESSING , IMAGE PROCESSING , SHIFTING


Subject Categories : Psychology
      Anatomy and Physiology


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE