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Association between Cold Face Test-induced vagal inhibition and cortisol response to acute stress


La Marca, Roberto; Waldvogel, P; Thörn, Hanna; Tripod, M; Wirtz, Petra H; Pruessner, J C; Ehlert, Ulrike (2011). Association between Cold Face Test-induced vagal inhibition and cortisol response to acute stress. Psychophysiology, 48(3):420-429.

Abstract

Low vagal function is related to several disorders. One possible underlying mechanism linking the vagus nerve and disorders is the HPA axis. Thirty-three healthy male subjects participated in a stress task, while heart rate (HR), respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), salivary cortisol, and mood were assessed. Vagal function was determined using baseline, stress-induced inhibition, and Cold Face Test (CFT)-induced stimulation. The stress task induced a significant increase in cortisol and HR, a decrease in RSA, and a worsening of mood. A linear regression model with the time from CFT onset until maximum bradycardia as the independent variable explained 17.9% of the total variance in cortisol in response to the stressor (mood: 36.5%). The results indicate that a faster CFT response is associated with reduced cortisol increase and enhanced mood after acute stress. Our data support an inverse relationship between vagal function and the HPA axis.

Abstract

Low vagal function is related to several disorders. One possible underlying mechanism linking the vagus nerve and disorders is the HPA axis. Thirty-three healthy male subjects participated in a stress task, while heart rate (HR), respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), salivary cortisol, and mood were assessed. Vagal function was determined using baseline, stress-induced inhibition, and Cold Face Test (CFT)-induced stimulation. The stress task induced a significant increase in cortisol and HR, a decrease in RSA, and a worsening of mood. A linear regression model with the time from CFT onset until maximum bradycardia as the independent variable explained 17.9% of the total variance in cortisol in response to the stressor (mood: 36.5%). The results indicate that a faster CFT response is associated with reduced cortisol increase and enhanced mood after acute stress. Our data support an inverse relationship between vagal function and the HPA axis.

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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
Uncontrolled Keywords:Psychotherapeutisches Zentrum des Psychologischen Instituts UZH
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:02 Nov 2010 11:33
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:14
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0048-5772
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8986.2010.01078.x
PubMed ID:20667035

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