Oliver T. Wolf

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In three independent studies, free cortisol levels after morning awakening were repeatedly measured in children, adults and elderly subjects (total n=152). Cortisol was assessed by sampling saliva at 10 or 15 minute intervals for 30-60 minutes, beginning at the time of awakening for two days (Study 1 and 2) or one (Study 3) day, respectively. In all three(More)
Two studies investigated the association between cortisol levels and memory performance in healthy adults. In a first study, 13 subjects were exposed to a brief psychosocial laboratory stress ("Trier Social Stress Test") with a subsequent test of declarative memory performance. Results indicated a significant negative relationship between stress-induced(More)
Stress leads to an enhanced activity of the hypothalamus-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis resulting in an increased release of glucocorticoids from the adrenal cortex. These hormones influence target systems in the periphery as well as in the brain. The present review paper describes the impact of the human stress hormone cortisol on episodic long-term memory.(More)
Nine young and 11 elderly men participated in this placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study (0.5 mg/kg cortisol or intravenous placebo). Participants learned a word list before cortisol administration, and delayed recall was then tested. A 2nd word list was learned and recalled after drug administration. In addition, the Paragraph Recall Test and(More)
Glucocorticoids (GCs) are known to modulate memory in animals and humans. One popular model suggests that stress or GC treatment enhances memory consolidation while impairing delayed memory retrieval. Studies in humans have documented that treatment with GCs impairs delayed memory retrieval. Similar alterations after exposure to stress have not been(More)
Empathy is a multidimensional construct consisting of cognitive (inferring mental states) and emotional (empathic concern) components. Despite a paucity of research, individuals on the autism spectrum are generally believed to lack empathy. In the current study we used a new, photo-based measure, the Multifaceted Empathy Test (MET), to assess empathy(More)
In the present study we introduce a sensitive video-based test for the evaluation of subtle mindreading difficulties: the Movie for the Assessment of Social Cognition (MASC). This new mindreading tool involves watching a short film and answering questions referring to the actors' mental states. A group of adults with Asperger syndrome (n = 19) and(More)
Epidemiological as well as experimental studies in elderly subjects have suggested that postmenopausal women are more susceptible to the memory impairing effects of elevated cortisol levels than elderly men. Little is known however about gender differences in the susceptibility to acute stress in young subjects. In the present study a total of 58 healthy(More)
Adrenal stress hormones released in response to acute stress may yield memory-enhancing effects when released post-learning and impairing effects at memory retrieval, especially for emotional memory material. However, so far these differential effects of stress hormones on the various memory phases for neutral and emotional memory material have not been(More)
Studies in rodents have demonstrated that glucocorticoids enhance memory consolidation but impair delayed memory retrieval. Similar findings have been reported in humans. Emotional items are better remembered than neutral items. However, it is unknown if emotional valence influences the effects of cortisol on retrieval. In this double-blind crossover study,(More)