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Go no-go performance under psychosocial stress: beneficial effects of implementation intentions


Scholz, Urte; La Marca, Roberto; Nater, U M; Aberle, I; Ehlert, Ulrike; Hornung, Rainer; Martin, Mike; Kliegel, M (2009). Go no-go performance under psychosocial stress: beneficial effects of implementation intentions. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 91(1):89-92.

Abstract

Acute stress has been found to have negative and implementation intentions (IIs) to have positive effects on cognitive performance. This study was the first to examine the effects of IIs on executive action control under acute psychosocial stress. Forty-two male subjects aged 21-39 years were randomly assigned to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) versus a rest condition. In addition, the instruction to the executive task (a go no-go task) was manipulated (IIs versus standard instruction). After the stress test, a dual-task procedure including a go no-go task was conducted. The TSST resulted in increases in cortisol response, heart rate and state anxiety compared to the rest condition. Acute stress significantly impaired go no-go performance, but only in the group without IIs. We conclude that under acute stress conditions executive functioning is reduced, but the use of IIs can be an effective strategy to overcome this negative effect.

Acute stress has been found to have negative and implementation intentions (IIs) to have positive effects on cognitive performance. This study was the first to examine the effects of IIs on executive action control under acute psychosocial stress. Forty-two male subjects aged 21-39 years were randomly assigned to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) versus a rest condition. In addition, the instruction to the executive task (a go no-go task) was manipulated (IIs versus standard instruction). After the stress test, a dual-task procedure including a go no-go task was conducted. The TSST resulted in increases in cortisol response, heart rate and state anxiety compared to the rest condition. Acute stress significantly impaired go no-go performance, but only in the group without IIs. We conclude that under acute stress conditions executive functioning is reduced, but the use of IIs can be an effective strategy to overcome this negative effect.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:January 2009
Deposited On:15 Dec 2008 16:51
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:32
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1074-7427
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.nlm.2008.09.002
PubMed ID:18817886
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-5022

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