Acute stress impairs cognitive flexibility in men, not women

  title={Acute stress impairs cognitive flexibility in men, not women},
  author={Grant S. Shields and Brian C. Trainor and Jovian C W Lam and Andrew P. Yonelinas},
  pages={542 - 546}
Abstract Psychosocial stress influences cognitive abilities, such as long-term memory retrieval. However, less is known about the effects of stress on cognitive flexibility, which is mediated by different neurobiological circuits and could thus be regulated by different neuroendocrine pathways. In this study, we randomly assigned healthy adults to an acute stress induction or control condition and subsequently assessed participants’ cognitive flexibility using an open-source version of the… 
Acute Stress Attenuates Cognitive Flexibility in Males Only: An fNIRS Examination
The results of two experiments conducted to examine the effect of acute stress on cognitive flexibility indicate that acute stress impacts cognitive flexibility in males and females differentially and demonstrates the feasibility of using fNIRS as a practical and objective technique for the examination of hemodynamics in the PFC during acute stress.
Perceived chronic stress influences the effect of acute stress on cognitive flexibility
The work suggests that future research interested in interrogating moderators in the relationship between acute stress and cognition would benefit from inclusion of measures of chronic stress, and highlights the value in studying salivary alpha amylase in response to acute stress exposure.
The effects of acute stress on core executive functions: A meta-analysis and comparison with cortisol
Acute stressor effects on cognitive flexibility: mediating role of stressor appraisals and cortisol
Data indicate that an acute, social-evaluative stressor can facilitate certain forms of cognitive flexibility, such as set-shifting, which was assessed by the Berg’s Card Sorting Task.
The Effects of Psychosocial Stress on Memory and Cognitive Ability: A Meta-Analysis
It is demonstrated that, in humans, psychosocial stress may not have the clear effects on memory previously ascribed to it, highlighting differences with previous reviews on mainly physiological stress.
Temporal dynamic modulation of acute stress on error processing in healthy males.
It is suggested that acute stress impairs error detection, which is modulated by individuals' response level following acute stress, and leads to more emotional and/or motivational responses to the error signal once the error is consciously realized.
Effects of acute stress on divergent and convergent problem-solving
Abstract This study examined the effects of acute stress on creative problem-solving. Thirty-five male participants underwent stress induction via the Trier Social Stress Test; another 35 male


Beta-adrenergic Modulation of Cognitive Flexibility during Stress
Results indicate that stress impaired performance on cognitive flexibility tasks, but not control tasks; compared to placebo, cognitive flexibility improved during stress with propranolol, which may provide support for the hypothesis that stress-related impairments in cognitive flexibility are related to the noradrenergic system.
Working memory is differentially affected by stress in men and women
Inflexibly Focused under Stress: Acute Psychosocial Stress Increases Shielding of Action Goals at the Expense of Reduced Cognitive Flexibility with Increasing Time Lag to the Stressor
Evidence is provided for a stress-induced time-dependent decrease of cognitive flexibility that might be related to changes in cortisol levels, which paralleled the time course of the hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) stress response.
The Effects of Acute Stress on Episodic Memory: A Meta-Analysis and Integrative Review
The analyses indicate that stress disrupts some episodic memory processes while enhancing others, and that the effects of stress are modulated by a number of critical factors.
Stress-induced cognitive dysfunction: hormone-neurotransmitter interactions in the prefrontal cortex
This review will focus on factors that influence the function of the prefrontal cortex, a brain region that governs higher-level cognitive processes and executive function that becomes markedly impaired by stress, producing measurable deficits in working memory.
Effects of defeat stress on behavioral flexibility in males and females: modulation by the mu‐opioid receptor
The pharmacological data suggest that a down‐regulation of MOR signaling in males may contribute to sex differences in behavioral flexibility following stress, which is consistent with a proactive coping strategy, including previous observations that stressed male California mice exhibit strong social approach and aggression.
Biological and psychological markers of stress in humans: Focus on the Trier Social Stress Test
Pre-learning stress that is temporally removed from acquisition exerts sex-specific effects on long-term memory