Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Acute stress impairs self-control in goal-directed choice by altering multiple functional connections within the brain’s decision circuits


Maier, Silvia U; Makwana, Aidan B; Hare, Todd A (2015). Acute stress impairs self-control in goal-directed choice by altering multiple functional connections within the brain’s decision circuits. Neuron, 87(3):621-631.

Abstract

Important decisions are often made under stressful circumstances that might compromise self-regulatory behavior. Yet the neural mechanisms by which stress influences self-control choices are unclear. We investigated these mechanisms in human participants who faced self-control dilemmas over food reward while undergoing fMRI following stress. We found that stress increased the influence of immediately rewarding taste attributes on choice and reduced self-control. This choice pattern was accompanied by increased functional connectivity between ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and amygdala and striatal regions encoding tastiness. Furthermore, stress was associated with reduced connectivity between the vmPFC and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex regions linked to self-control success. Notably, alterations in connectivity pathways could be dissociated by their differential relationships with cortisol and perceived stress. Our results indicate that stress may compromise self-control decisions by both enhancing the impact of immediately rewarding attributes and reducing the efficacy of regions promoting behaviors that are consistent with long-term goals.

Abstract

Important decisions are often made under stressful circumstances that might compromise self-regulatory behavior. Yet the neural mechanisms by which stress influences self-control choices are unclear. We investigated these mechanisms in human participants who faced self-control dilemmas over food reward while undergoing fMRI following stress. We found that stress increased the influence of immediately rewarding taste attributes on choice and reduced self-control. This choice pattern was accompanied by increased functional connectivity between ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and amygdala and striatal regions encoding tastiness. Furthermore, stress was associated with reduced connectivity between the vmPFC and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex regions linked to self-control success. Notably, alterations in connectivity pathways could be dissociated by their differential relationships with cortisol and perceived stress. Our results indicate that stress may compromise self-control decisions by both enhancing the impact of immediately rewarding attributes and reducing the efficacy of regions promoting behaviors that are consistent with long-term goals.

Statistics

Citations

23 citations in Web of Science®
4 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

37 downloads since deposited on 14 Oct 2015
23 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:August 2015
Deposited On:14 Oct 2015 13:32
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 14:19
Publisher:Cell Press (Elsevier)
ISSN:0896-6273
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2015.07.005
PubMed ID:26247866

Download

Download PDF  'Acute stress impairs self-control in goal-directed choice by altering multiple functional connections within the brain’s decision circuits'.
Preview
Content: Accepted Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 611kB
View at publisher