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In this review, we report on studies that have assessed the effects of exogenous and endogenous increases in stress hormones on human cognitive performance. We first describe the history of the studies on the effects of using exogenous stress hormones such as glucocorticoids as anti-inflammatory medications on human cognition and mental health. Here, we(More)
A group of 14 healthy elderly subjects was submitted to a nonstressful (attentional task) and a stressful (public speaking task) condition. Declarative (conscious recollection of learned information) and nondeclarative (retrieved information without conscious or explicit access) memory as well as salivary cortisol levels were measured before and after each(More)
In this paper, we summarize the data obtained in our laboratory showing the effects of glucocorticoids on human cognitive function in older adults, young adults and children. We first present data obtained in the aged human population which showed that long-term exposure to high endogenous levels of glucocorticoids is associated with both memory impairments(More)
Early-life stress (ES) has been associated with diverse forms of psychopathology. Some investigators suggest that these associations reflect the effects of stress on the neural circuits that support cognitive control. However, very few prior studies have examined the associations between ES, cognitive control, and underlying neural architecture. The present(More)
The effects of adrenergic and corticosteroid hormonal systems on emotional memory were measured in 64 young men. Placebo, propranolol (40 or 80 mg; beta blocker), or metyiapone (corticosteroid synthesis inhibitor) was administered before the viewing of a story composed of emotional and neutral segments. Short- and long-term declarative memory for the story(More)
Previous research findings have linked caregiver deprivation and emotional neglect with sensitivity to threatening cues. The present preliminary study investigated whether dysfunctions of the medial temporal lobe could underlie these associations. Using fMRI, we measured medial temporal lobe responses to emotional faces (angry, fearful, happy, neutral)(More)
To determine the role played by the beta-adrenergic and corticosteroid systems in the modulatory effects of stress on declarative memory function, 42 young men were administered a placebo, propranolol (beta-adrenergic blocker), or metyrapone (corticosteroid synthesis inhibitor) before being submitted to a psychological stress protocol. Immediately after(More)
In this paper, we discuss the effects of glucocorticoids on human learning and memory using the recent model of hormesis proposed by Calabrese and collaborators. Although acute increases in glucocorticoids have been shown to impair memory function in humans, other studies report no such impairments or, in contrast, beneficial effects of acute glucocorticoid(More)
Early disruption of steroids affects the development of mammalian neural circuits underlying affective processes. In humans, patients with classic congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) can serve as a natural model to study early hormonal alterations on functional brain development. CAH is characterized by congenital glucocorticoid insufficiency, leading to(More)
Perhaps the most prominent feature of human aging is the variability in decline of intellectual processes. Although many research avenues have been used to study the origin of such an increased variability with aging, new studies show that some biological factors may be associated with normal and pathological cognitive aging. One biological parameter that(More)