Acute stress negatively affects object recognition early memory consolidation and memory retrieval unrelated to state-dependency

Ellis Nelissen, Jos Prickaerts, Arjan Blokland*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

76 Downloads (Pure)


It is well known that stress affects memory performance. However, there still appears to be inconstancy in literature about how acute stress affects the different stages of memory: acquisition, consolidation and retrieval. In this study, we exposed rats to acute stress and measured the effect on memory performance in the object recognition task as a measure for episodic memory. Stress was induced 30 min prior to the learning phase to affect acquisition, directly after the learning phase to affect consolidation, or 30 min before the retrieval phase to affect retrieval. Additionally, we induced stress both 30 min prior to the learning phase and 30 min prior to the retrieval phase to test whether the effects were related to state-dependency. As expected, we found that acute stress did not affect acquisition but had a negative impact on retrieval. To our knowledge, we are the first to show that early consolidation was negatively affected by acute stress. We also show that stress does not have a state-dependent effect on memory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-12
Number of pages4
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • Journal Article
  • Memory Consolidation
  • Pattern Recognition, Physiological
  • Acute Disease
  • Mental Recall
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Corticosterone/blood
  • Memory, Episodic
  • Male
  • Learning
  • Animals
  • Time Factors
  • Stress, Psychological/blood
  • Psychological Tests
  • Recognition (Psychology)

Cite this