TitleThe effects of an acute psychosocial stressor on episodic memory.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsStawski, RS, Sliwinski, MJ, Smyth, JM
JournalEur J Cogn Psychol
Date Published2009 Sep 01

<p>Although stressors are believed to impair memory, experimental studies with humans have provided inconsistent support for this conclusion. The current study was designed to examine the effect of an acute psychosocial stressor, and subsequent reactivity, on episodic memory. One hundred participants completed a list-recall task before and after random assignment into a stressor or nonstressor condition. Participants assigned to the stressor condition exhibited both impaired delayed and immediate recall, and also exhibited increasesin the commission of intrusions and perseverations. The experience of off-task thoughts and intentional suppression of such thoughts, were associated with greater impairment of immediate recall. Changes in state anxiety, negative mood, and heart rate were unrelated to changes in memory. These data indicate that exposure to a stressor impaired the recall of previously learned information, and compromised the recall of newly acquired information. Furthermore, cognitive interference is an important factor regarding stress-related impairments of episodic memory. memory.</p>

Alternate JournalEur J Cogn Psychol
PubMed ID19727439
PubMed Central IDPMC2726776
Grant ListT32 MH018904 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG026728 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG012448 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG026728-02 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG012448-07 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG026728-01A1 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States