Kulmann et al., 2005 Impaired mem retrieval after ysocial stress in men

Kulmann et al, - The Journal of Neuroscience 25(11:29772982 2977 Behavioral/Systems/Cognitive Impaired Memory Retrieval after Psychosocial Stress

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Behavioral/Systems/Cognitive Impaired Memory Retrieval after Psychosocial Stress in Healthy Young Men Sabrina Kuhlmann, Marcel Piel, and Oliver T. Wolf Institute of Experimental Psychology, University of Duesseldorf, D-40225 Duesseldorf, Germany 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 observed thus far. In the present study, 19 young healthy male subjects were exposed to either a standardized psychosocial laboratory stressor (Trier Social Stress Test) or a control condition in a crossover manner. After both treatments, retrieval of a word list (learned 24 h earlier) containing 10 neutral, 10 negative, and 10 positive words was tested. The stressor induced a significant increase in salivary free cortisol and a decrease in mood. Memoryretrieval(freerecall)wassignificantlyimpairedafterthestresscondition.Follow-upanalysisrevealedthatnegativeandpositive words (i.e., emotionally arousing words) were affected, whereas no effect was observed for neutral words. No changes were detected for cued recall, working memory, or attention. The present study thus demonstrates that psychosocial stress impairs memory retrieval in humans and suggests that emotionally arousing material is especially sensitive to this effect. Key words: stress; steroid; memory; emotion; human; hippocampus Introduction Glucocorticoids (GCs) and catecholamines (adrenaline and nor- adrenaline) are secreted during stress to facilitate adaptation (De Kloet et al., 1998; McEwen, 1998; Sapolsky et al., 2000). In ani- mals, stress hormones can have impairing as well as enhancing effects on memory (Lupien and McEwen, 1997; Sandi, 1998; De Kloet et al., 1999; Kim and Diamond, 2002; McGaugh and Roozendaal, 2002). Similarly, in humans, acute GC administra- tion has beneficial or detrimental effects, depending on several modulatory variables (Lupien and Lepage, 2001; Wolf, 2003). McGaugh and Roozendaal (2002) have established that in- creased levels of stress hormones lead to enhanced memory con- solidation in rodents, which is in line with work by others (Sandi et al., 1997; Oitzl et al., 2001). However, stress as well as cortico- sterone treatment causes impaired delayed memory retrieval (de Quervain et al., 1998; Roozendaal, 2002). It appears that adren- ergic activation in the basolateral amygdala and in the hippocam- pus is required for GCs to impair retrieval (Roozendaal et al., 2004b). In humans, placebo-controlled pharmacological studies have observed that cortisol application leads to impaired memory re- trieval (de Quervain et al., 2000, 2003; Wolf et al., 2001a; Buss et al., 2004). Whether similar effects occur after psychosocial stress is unknown. Previous human studies examined the effects of
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Kulmann et al, - The Journal of Neuroscience 25(11:29772982 2977 Behavioral/Systems/Cognitive Impaired Memory Retrieval after Psychosocial Stress

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