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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.

    Research areas

  • 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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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)758-766
Number of pages9
JournalPsychophysiology
Volume50
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013