The authors acknowledge Mr. Aki Kuitunen for assisting in experiment performances, Ms. Satu Pakarinen for providing the tones, two anonymous reviewers, and all participants. This research was supported by the Academy of Finland (200522) and the Centre of International Mobility (CIMO).
Psychosocial stress attenuates general sound processing and duration change detection
Version of Record online: 27 NOV 2006
Volume 44, Issue 1, pages 30–38, January 2007
How to Cite
Simoens, V. L., Istók, E., Hyttinen, S., Hirvonen, A., Näätänen, R. and Tervaniemi, M. (2007), Psychosocial stress attenuates general sound processing and duration change detection. Psychophysiology, 44: 30–38. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2006.00476.x
- Issue online: 27 NOV 2006
- Version of Record online: 27 NOV 2006
- (Received July 8, 2006; Accepted September 28, 2006)
- Psychosocial stress;
- Attentional workload;
An EEG-compatible adaptation of the Trier Social Stress Test was developed to induce psychosocial stress in healthy subjects while investigating their auditory processing of unattended sounds and salivary levels of the stress hormone cortisol. The mismatch negativity (MMN) and N1/P2 were assessed using a multifeature paradigm, while subjects were attending to visual tasks with high or low attentional workload. Only the responses to duration change were affected by the stress manipulation. Cortisol levels during stress were inversely related to the MMN amplitudes of duration deviants. During anticipatory stress, responses to the standard tones (general sound processing) increased, but their amplitude was not correlated with cortisol levels. We found that psychosocial stressor anticipation attenuates both general and deviance-specific sound processing, suggesting that cortisol interferes with cortical memory-trace formation.