This study examined sex differences in the emotional memory consolidation, and the impact of stress-induced cortisol and salivary alpha amylase responses on emotional memory recall. Following baseline salivary measures, 39 healthy women and 41 men viewed 20 neutral and 20 negative arousing images, and then underwent either a cold pressor stress test or control condition, followed by further salivary measures. Participants returned two days later for a free recall test. The stress condition induced greater cortisol response, and negative images were better recalled than neutral. Whereas women displayed greater recall of negative images under stress than men, they recalled fewer negative images in the control condition. Stress-induced cortisol predicted recall of negative images in women, and neutral images in men. This suggests there is an enhanced consolidation of negative images under stress in women that may be a potential mechanism for the greater female prevalence for developing anxiety disorders.
Recent findings suggest that consolidation of emotional memories is influenced by menstrual phase in women. In contrast to other phases, in the mid-luteal phase when progesterone levels are elevated, cortisol levels are increased and correlated with emotional memory. This study examined the impact of progesterone on cortisol and memory consolidation of threatening stimuli under stressful conditions. Thirty women were recruited for the high progesterone group (in the mid-luteal phase) and 26 for the low progesterone group (in non-luteal phases of the menstrual cycle). Women were shown a series of 20 neutral or threatening images followed immediately by either a stressor (cold pressor task) or control condition. Participants returned two days later for a surprise free recall test of the images and salivary cortisol responses were monitored. High progesterone levels were associated with higher baseline and stress-evoked cortisol levels, and enhanced memory of negative images when stress was received. A positive correlation was found between stress-induced cortisol levels and memory recall of threatening images. These findings suggest that progesterone mediates cortisol responses to stress and subsequently predicts memory recall for emotionally arousing stimuli.
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Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.