The impact of acute psychological stress on spatial cognition

 

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Thomas, Kevin en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Attwood, Carmela Bonito en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2014-12-26T06:21:34Z
dc.date.available 2014-12-26T06:21:34Z
dc.date.issued 2008 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Attwood, C. 2008. The impact of acute psychological stress on spatial cognition. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/10059
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (leaves 54-64). en_ZA
dc.description.abstract Based on the premise that the hippocampus is both affected by cortisol and intimately involved in episodic memory and spatial cognition, the general aim of this study was to investigate the effects of psychosocial stress (and consequent cortisol increase) on spatial cognition and verbal memory in men and women. One group of 33 participants (16 males and 17 females) were exposed to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST; Kirschbaum, Pirke, & Hellhammer, 1993), a procedure designed to induce mild psychosocial stress. I used 3 different means to check the effectiveness of this stress induction: salivary cortisol, self-report via the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and heart-rate measurements. The measures all converged to suggest that the stress induction procedure was successful. A control group of29 participants (15 males and 14 females) was exposed to a relaxation period rather than the TSST. Following this part of the experimental protocol, all participants completed a virtual environment spatial navigation task and a word-list learning and recall task. Results showed that, on the spatial navigation task, females and males who were not exposed to the stressor located and relocated a hidden target equally well (Le., cognitive map-guided navigation was intact in unstressed participants). In addition, on the spatial navigation task the interaction effect of the gender and experimental condition approached statistical significance (p = 0.085), suggesting that females exposed to the stressor required more time to locate and relocate a hidden target than did the other participants (Le., they were disrupted in their cognitive map-guided navigation). On the verbal memory task, participants who showed larger cortisol increases following exposure to the TSST tended to recall fewer words than did those with smaller cortisol increases, with a slightly stronger negative correlation in males than in females. The data therefore confirm that stress impacts different memory systems in different ways, and, perhaps more importantly, that sex differences play a role in moderating those effects. This is the first demonstration, within a single study, of a possible double dissociation of sex differences in cognitive performance following induction of mild psychosocial stress. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Psychology en_ZA
dc.title The impact of acute psychological stress on spatial cognition en_ZA
dc.type Master Thesis
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Humanities en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Department of Psychology en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Masters
dc.type.qualificationname MSocSc en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image
dc.identifier.apacitation Attwood, C. B. (2008). <i>The impact of acute psychological stress on spatial cognition</i>. (Thesis). University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of Psychology. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/11427/10059 en_ZA
dc.identifier.chicagocitation Attwood, Carmela Bonito. <i>"The impact of acute psychological stress on spatial cognition."</i> Thesis., University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of Psychology, 2008. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/10059 en_ZA
dc.identifier.vancouvercitation Attwood CB. The impact of acute psychological stress on spatial cognition. [Thesis]. University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of Psychology, 2008 [cited yyyy month dd]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/11427/10059 en_ZA
dc.identifier.ris TY - Thesis / Dissertation AU - Attwood, Carmela Bonito AB - Based on the premise that the hippocampus is both affected by cortisol and intimately involved in episodic memory and spatial cognition, the general aim of this study was to investigate the effects of psychosocial stress (and consequent cortisol increase) on spatial cognition and verbal memory in men and women. One group of 33 participants (16 males and 17 females) were exposed to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST; Kirschbaum, Pirke, & Hellhammer, 1993), a procedure designed to induce mild psychosocial stress. I used 3 different means to check the effectiveness of this stress induction: salivary cortisol, self-report via the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and heart-rate measurements. The measures all converged to suggest that the stress induction procedure was successful. A control group of29 participants (15 males and 14 females) was exposed to a relaxation period rather than the TSST. Following this part of the experimental protocol, all participants completed a virtual environment spatial navigation task and a word-list learning and recall task. Results showed that, on the spatial navigation task, females and males who were not exposed to the stressor located and relocated a hidden target equally well (Le., cognitive map-guided navigation was intact in unstressed participants). In addition, on the spatial navigation task the interaction effect of the gender and experimental condition approached statistical significance (p = 0.085), suggesting that females exposed to the stressor required more time to locate and relocate a hidden target than did the other participants (Le., they were disrupted in their cognitive map-guided navigation). On the verbal memory task, participants who showed larger cortisol increases following exposure to the TSST tended to recall fewer words than did those with smaller cortisol increases, with a slightly stronger negative correlation in males than in females. The data therefore confirm that stress impacts different memory systems in different ways, and, perhaps more importantly, that sex differences play a role in moderating those effects. This is the first demonstration, within a single study, of a possible double dissociation of sex differences in cognitive performance following induction of mild psychosocial stress. DA - 2008 DB - OpenUCT DP - University of Cape Town LK - https://open.uct.ac.za PB - University of Cape Town PY - 2008 T1 - The impact of acute psychological stress on spatial cognition TI - The impact of acute psychological stress on spatial cognition UR - http://hdl.handle.net/11427/10059 ER - en_ZA


Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record