The imaging Maastricht Acute Stress Test (iMAST): A neuroimaging compatible psychophysiological stressor

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Abstract

Several protocols have been developed for inducing acute stress in laboratory settings. Still, effectively eliciting stress in a neuroimaging environment remains challenging. Here, we describe the evaluation of a combined physical and psychosocial stress protocol (n = 42). The imaging Maastricht Acute Stress Test (iMAST) consists of a 5-min preparation phase and a 10-min acute stress phase, with alternating trials of cold pressor stress generated through an advanced thermal stimulator and mental arithmetic challenges along with social-evaluative pressure (i.e., negative feedback). Results demonstrate that participants displayed meaningful subjective stress responses, as well as significant increases in salivary alpha-amylase and cortisol levels. Our data show that the iMAST may prove to be a potent alternative to existing imaging stress paradigms to explore poststress neuronal changes and brain determinants of resilience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)758-766
Number of pages9
JournalPsychophysiology
Volume50
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

Keywords

  • ACTIVATION
  • ACUTE PSYCHOSOCIAL STRESS
  • COLD-PRESSOR TEST
  • CORTISOL RESPONSES
  • Cortisol
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
  • GENDER-DIFFERENCE
  • HUMANS
  • Maastricht Acute Stress Test (MAST)
  • PHYSIOLOGICAL-RESPONSE
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL STRESS
  • SALIVARY ALPHA-AMYLASE
  • SEX-DIFFERENCES
  • Stress reactivity
  • Stress tasks

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