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Effects of psychosocial stress on psychophysiological activity during risky decision-making in male adolescents

Effects of psychosocial stress on psychophysiological activity during risky decision-making in male adolescents
Effects of psychosocial stress on psychophysiological activity during risky decision-making in male adolescents
Adolescence is characterized by increases in both perceived stress and risk-taking, although the effects of stress on risk-sensitive decision-making have received little attention in adolescent groups. We report psychophysiological data from the healthy control group of a larger project examining neuroendocrine and neuropsychological function in boys with conduct disorder. The present analysis focussed on healthy male adolescents (n = 66) performing a decision-making task that involved selection between two wheel-of-fortune gambles. The task was completed in a neutral state, and again following a psychosocial stress induction that robustly increased salivary cortisol levels and baseline autonomic arousal. Task-related changes in electrodermal activity (EDA) and heart rate (HR) were monitored during the receipt of win and loss outcomes. On gamble choice, stress attenuated the difference in risk taking between the losses-only and wins-only trials (the ‘reflection effect’) and reduced risk-taking on one further gamble type (i.e. a stress × gamble type interaction). In the neutral condition, EDA and HR deceleration responses were significantly greater for losses compared to wins. This physiological differentiation of losses and wins was reduced under stress, with a significant attenuation of the HR deceleration response. In addition, higher trait impulsivity scores predicted reduced EDA differentiation of the outcomes, and reduced EDA stress reactivity. As a limitation, the order of neutral and stress sessions was not counter-balanced. Reduced psychophysiological discrimination between positive and negative outcomes may contribute to the effects of stress on risky decision-making in adolescents.
0167-8760
22-29
Stankovic, Aleksandra
f7292726-41b0-46a1-8f3c-6e4d89a1ed90
Fairchild, Graeme
f99bc911-978e-48c2-9754-c6460666a95f
Aitken, Michael
05ce3915-1f73-4510-a097-95bbb98c4438
Clark, Luke
d0d03564-0462-4056-ab19-b511acc1321b
Stankovic, Aleksandra
f7292726-41b0-46a1-8f3c-6e4d89a1ed90
Fairchild, Graeme
f99bc911-978e-48c2-9754-c6460666a95f
Aitken, Michael
05ce3915-1f73-4510-a097-95bbb98c4438
Clark, Luke
d0d03564-0462-4056-ab19-b511acc1321b

Stankovic, Aleksandra, Fairchild, Graeme, Aitken, Michael and Clark, Luke (2014) Effects of psychosocial stress on psychophysiological activity during risky decision-making in male adolescents. [in special issue: Applied Neuroscience: Functional Enhancement, Prevention, Characterisation and Methodology. (Hosting the Society of Applied Neuroscience)] International Journal of Psychophysiology, 93 (1), 22-29. (doi:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2013.11.001). (PMID:24252595)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Adolescence is characterized by increases in both perceived stress and risk-taking, although the effects of stress on risk-sensitive decision-making have received little attention in adolescent groups. We report psychophysiological data from the healthy control group of a larger project examining neuroendocrine and neuropsychological function in boys with conduct disorder. The present analysis focussed on healthy male adolescents (n = 66) performing a decision-making task that involved selection between two wheel-of-fortune gambles. The task was completed in a neutral state, and again following a psychosocial stress induction that robustly increased salivary cortisol levels and baseline autonomic arousal. Task-related changes in electrodermal activity (EDA) and heart rate (HR) were monitored during the receipt of win and loss outcomes. On gamble choice, stress attenuated the difference in risk taking between the losses-only and wins-only trials (the ‘reflection effect’) and reduced risk-taking on one further gamble type (i.e. a stress × gamble type interaction). In the neutral condition, EDA and HR deceleration responses were significantly greater for losses compared to wins. This physiological differentiation of losses and wins was reduced under stress, with a significant attenuation of the HR deceleration response. In addition, higher trait impulsivity scores predicted reduced EDA differentiation of the outcomes, and reduced EDA stress reactivity. As a limitation, the order of neutral and stress sessions was not counter-balanced. Reduced psychophysiological discrimination between positive and negative outcomes may contribute to the effects of stress on risky decision-making in adolescents.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 16 November 2013
Published date: July 2014
Organisations: Psychology

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Local EPrints ID: 366155
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/366155
ISSN: 0167-8760
PURE UUID: 471c7417-107a-48bc-8e7a-714e181d2a4a
ORCID for Graeme Fairchild: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7814-9938

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Date deposited: 25 Jun 2014 15:38
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 12:33

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Contributors

Author: Aleksandra Stankovic
Author: Graeme Fairchild ORCID iD
Author: Michael Aitken
Author: Luke Clark

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