Context-dependent enhancement of declarative memory performance following acute psychosocial stress

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)
334 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Studies on how acute stress affects learning and memory have yielded inconsistent findings, with some studies reporting enhancing effects while others report impairing effects. Recently, Joels et al. [Jowls, M., Pu, Z., Wiegert, O., Oitzl, M.S., Krugers, H.J., 2006. Learning under stress: how does it work? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 10, 152-158] argued that stress will enhance memory only when the memory acquisition phase and stressor share the same spatiotemporal context (i.e., context-congruency). The current study tested this hypothesis by looking at whether context-congruent stress enhances declarative memory performance. Undergraduates were assigned to a personality, stress group (n = 16), a memory stress group (n = 18), or a no-stress control group (n = 18). While being exposed to the acute stressor or a control task, participants encoded personality and memory-related words and were tested for free recall 24 h later. Relative to controls, stress significantly enhanced recall of context-congruent words, but only for personality words. This suggests that acute stress may strengthen the consolidation of memory material when the stressor matches the to-be-remembered information in place and time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-123
JournalBiological Psychology
Volume76
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

Cite this

@article{5f0fae1aa4f5475eba836580f3324338,
title = "Context-dependent enhancement of declarative memory performance following acute psychosocial stress",
abstract = "Studies on how acute stress affects learning and memory have yielded inconsistent findings, with some studies reporting enhancing effects while others report impairing effects. Recently, Joels et al. [Jowls, M., Pu, Z., Wiegert, O., Oitzl, M.S., Krugers, H.J., 2006. Learning under stress: how does it work? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 10, 152-158] argued that stress will enhance memory only when the memory acquisition phase and stressor share the same spatiotemporal context (i.e., context-congruency). The current study tested this hypothesis by looking at whether context-congruent stress enhances declarative memory performance. Undergraduates were assigned to a personality, stress group (n = 16), a memory stress group (n = 18), or a no-stress control group (n = 18). While being exposed to the acute stressor or a control task, participants encoded personality and memory-related words and were tested for free recall 24 h later. Relative to controls, stress significantly enhanced recall of context-congruent words, but only for personality words. This suggests that acute stress may strengthen the consolidation of memory material when the stressor matches the to-be-remembered information in place and time.",
author = "T. Smeets and T.M. Giesbrecht and M. Jelicic and H.L.G.J. Merckelbach",
year = "2007",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.biopsycho.2007.07.001",
language = "English",
volume = "76",
pages = "116--123",
journal = "Biological Psychology",
issn = "0301-0511",
publisher = "Elsevier Science",

}

Context-dependent enhancement of declarative memory performance following acute psychosocial stress. / Smeets, T.; Giesbrecht, T.M.; Jelicic, M.; Merckelbach, H.L.G.J.

In: Biological Psychology, Vol. 76, 01.01.2007, p. 116-123.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Context-dependent enhancement of declarative memory performance following acute psychosocial stress

AU - Smeets, T.

AU - Giesbrecht, T.M.

AU - Jelicic, M.

AU - Merckelbach, H.L.G.J.

PY - 2007/1/1

Y1 - 2007/1/1

N2 - Studies on how acute stress affects learning and memory have yielded inconsistent findings, with some studies reporting enhancing effects while others report impairing effects. Recently, Joels et al. [Jowls, M., Pu, Z., Wiegert, O., Oitzl, M.S., Krugers, H.J., 2006. Learning under stress: how does it work? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 10, 152-158] argued that stress will enhance memory only when the memory acquisition phase and stressor share the same spatiotemporal context (i.e., context-congruency). The current study tested this hypothesis by looking at whether context-congruent stress enhances declarative memory performance. Undergraduates were assigned to a personality, stress group (n = 16), a memory stress group (n = 18), or a no-stress control group (n = 18). While being exposed to the acute stressor or a control task, participants encoded personality and memory-related words and were tested for free recall 24 h later. Relative to controls, stress significantly enhanced recall of context-congruent words, but only for personality words. This suggests that acute stress may strengthen the consolidation of memory material when the stressor matches the to-be-remembered information in place and time.

AB - Studies on how acute stress affects learning and memory have yielded inconsistent findings, with some studies reporting enhancing effects while others report impairing effects. Recently, Joels et al. [Jowls, M., Pu, Z., Wiegert, O., Oitzl, M.S., Krugers, H.J., 2006. Learning under stress: how does it work? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 10, 152-158] argued that stress will enhance memory only when the memory acquisition phase and stressor share the same spatiotemporal context (i.e., context-congruency). The current study tested this hypothesis by looking at whether context-congruent stress enhances declarative memory performance. Undergraduates were assigned to a personality, stress group (n = 16), a memory stress group (n = 18), or a no-stress control group (n = 18). While being exposed to the acute stressor or a control task, participants encoded personality and memory-related words and were tested for free recall 24 h later. Relative to controls, stress significantly enhanced recall of context-congruent words, but only for personality words. This suggests that acute stress may strengthen the consolidation of memory material when the stressor matches the to-be-remembered information in place and time.

U2 - 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2007.07.001

DO - 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2007.07.001

M3 - Article

VL - 76

SP - 116

EP - 123

JO - Biological Psychology

JF - Biological Psychology

SN - 0301-0511

ER -