References of "Hülsemann, Mareike"
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See detailEffects of basal and acute cortisol on cognitive flexibility in an emotional task switching paradigm in men
Dierolf, Angelika UL; Arlt, Lea Esther; Roelofs et al

in Hormones and Behavior (2016), 81

The stress hormone cortisol is assumed to influence cognitive functions. While cortisol-induced alterations of declarative memory in particular are well-investigated, considerably less is known about its ... [more ▼]

The stress hormone cortisol is assumed to influence cognitive functions. While cortisol-induced alterations of declarative memory in particular are well-investigated, considerably less is known about its influence on executive functions. Moreover, most research has been focused on slow effects, and rapid non-genomic effects have not been studied. The present study sought to investigate the impact of acute cortisol administration as well as basal cortisol levels on cognitive flexibility, a core executive function, within the non-genomic time frame. Thirty-eight healthy male participants were randomly assigned to intravenously receive either cortisol or a placebo before performing a task switching paradigm with happy and angry faces as stimuli. Cortisol levels were measured at six points during the experiment. Additionally, before the experiment, basal cortisol measures for the cortisol awakening response were collected on three consecutive weekdays immediately following awakening and 30, 45, and 60 min after. First and foremost, results showed a pronounced impact of acute and basal cortisol on reaction time switch costs, particularly for angry faces. In the placebo group, low basal cortisol was associated with minimal switch costs, whereas high basal cortisol was related to maximal switch costs. In contrast, after cortisol injection, basal cortisol levels showed no impact. These results show that cognitive flexibility-enhancing effects of acute cortisol administration are only seen in men with high basal cortisol levels. This result supports the context dependency of cortisol administration and shows the relevance of taking basal cortisol levels into account. [less ▲]

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See detailEnhanced emotional regulation after provocation through stress- the influence of acute stress and provocation on affective picture processing: an event-related potential study
Dierolf, Angelika UL; Fechtner, Julia; Rapoport, Olja et al

Poster (2014)

The stress hormone cortisol has been identified as an important factor promoting aggression. Taken by itself, cortisol and aggression have been shown to alter the processing of social relevant information ... [more ▼]

The stress hormone cortisol has been identified as an important factor promoting aggression. Taken by itself, cortisol and aggression have been shown to alter the processing of social relevant information, the latter being crucial in the development of a vicious cycle of violence. However, the mutual influence of cortisol and aggression on information processing has hardly been examined, even though this might provide insight into the underlying mechanisms of the escalation and the persistence of aggressive behavior, once it has begun. Thus, the present study investigated the effect of stress-induced rise in cortisol and provoked aggression on affective picture processing. 71 subjects were randomly assigned to a stress or a control condition and were either highly or mildly provoked during the subsequent Taylor Aggression Paradigm. Next, 144 pictures with positive, negative or aggressive content were presented. Meanwhile the EEG was recorded and acute levels of salivary cortisol were collected. Results revealed that cortisol and provocation jointly altered especially later event-related components (P300, slow waves), albeit in opposite direction. While high provocation resulted in overall enhanced amplitudes in the control group, it led to reduced amplitudes to all affective pictures in subjects with stress-induced increase of cortisol levels, indicating a general emotional regulation. These results suggest that adaptive controlling mechanisms are activated to face the mutual impact of stress and provocation, underlining the impact of cortisol in the context of aggression. [less ▲]

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