Exposure to acute stress enhances decision-making competence: Evidence for the role of DHEA

Grant S. Shields, Jovian C W Lam, Brian C. Trainor, Andrew P. Yonelinas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Exposure to acute stress can impact performance on numerous cognitive abilities, but little is known about how acute stress affects real-world decision-making ability. In the present study, we induced acute stress with a standard laboratory task involving uncontrollable socio-evaluative stress and subsequently assessed decision-making ability using the Adult Decision Making Competence index. In addition, we took baseline and post-test saliva samples from participants to examine associations between decision-making competence and adrenal hormones. Participants in the stress induction group showed enhanced decision-making competence, relative to controls. Further, although both cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) reactivity predicted decision-making competence when considered in isolation, DHEA was a significantly better predictor than cortisol when both hormones were considered simultaneously. Thus, our results show that exposure to acute stress can have beneficial effects on the cognitive ability underpinning real-world decision-making and that this effect relates to DHEA reactivity more than cortisol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-60
Number of pages10
JournalPsychoneuroendocrinology
Volume67
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2016

Fingerprint

Dehydroepiandrosterone
Mental Competency
Decision Making
Aptitude
Hydrocortisone
Hormones
Saliva

Keywords

  • Acute stress
  • Cortisol
  • Decision-making
  • Decision-making competence
  • DHEA
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

Cite this

Exposure to acute stress enhances decision-making competence : Evidence for the role of DHEA. / Shields, Grant S.; Lam, Jovian C W; Trainor, Brian C.; Yonelinas, Andrew P.

In: Psychoneuroendocrinology, Vol. 67, 01.05.2016, p. 51-60.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Shields, Grant S. ; Lam, Jovian C W ; Trainor, Brian C. ; Yonelinas, Andrew P. / Exposure to acute stress enhances decision-making competence : Evidence for the role of DHEA. In: Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2016 ; Vol. 67. pp. 51-60.
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