Navigation Links
Weather prediction task: Learning achievement with and without stress

Stressed and non-stressed persons use different brain regions and different strategies when learning. This has been reported by the cognitive psychologists PD Dr. Lars Schwabe and Professor Oliver Wolf from the Ruhr-Universitt Bochum in the Journal of Neuroscience. Non-stressed individuals applied a deliberate learning strategy, while stressed subjects relied more on their gut feeling. "These results demonstrate for the first time that stress has an influence on which of the different memory systems the brain turns on," said Lars Schwabe.

The experiment: Stress due to ice-water

The data from 59 subjects were included in the study. Half of the participants had to immerse one hand into ice-cold water for three minutes under video surveillance. This stressed the subjects, as hormone assays showed. The other participants had to immerse one of their hands just in warm water. Then both the stressed and non-stressed individuals completed the so-called weather prediction task. The subjects looked at playing cards with different symbols and learned to predict which combinations of cards announced rain and which sunshine. Each combination of cards was associated with a certain probability of good or bad weather. People apply differently complex strategies in order to master the task. During the weather prediction task, the researchers recorded the brain activity with MRI.

Two routes to success

Both stressed and non-stressed subjects learned to predict the weather according to the symbols. Non-stressed participants focused on individual symbols and not on combinations of symbols. They consciously pursued a simple strategy. The MRI data showed that they activated a brain region in the medial temporal lobe - the hippocampus, which is important for long-term memory. Stressed subjects, on the other hand, applied a more complex strategy. They made their decisions based on the combination of symbols. They did this, however, subconsciously, i.e. they were not able to formulate their strategy in words. The result of the brain scans was also accordingly: In the case of the stressed volunteers the so-called striatum in the mid-brain was activated - a brain region that is responsible for more unconscious learning. "Stress interferes with conscious, purposeful learning, which is dependent upon the hippocampus," concluded Lars Schwabe. "So that makes the brain use other resources. In the case of stress, the striatum controls behaviour - which saves the learning achievement."


Contact: Dr. Lars Schwabe
Ruhr-University Bochum

Related medicine news :

1. Extreme Heat Biggest Weather Killer, Expert Warns
2. Use Caution When Exercising in Hot Weather
3. Red Wine, Weather May Trigger Migraines
4. A learning health system moves from idea to action
5. Electronic data methods research seeks to build a learning health care system
6. Excessive sleepiness may be cause of learning, attention and school problems
7. $9 million grant awarded to UH to study, treat learning disabilities
8. Emotional Trauma May Hurt Toddlers Later Learning
9. Gladstones Lennart Mucke receives Lifetime Achievement Award from the Alzheimers Association
10. Obesity negatively predicts minimal disease activity achievement in patients with PSA
11. Loyola Cancer Center receives Outstanding Achievement Award
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/29/2015)... San Jose, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 29, 2015 , ... ... Bay Area, is proud to announce their December, 2015, featured apartment community: Epic. In ... looking for corporate housing in the tight Bay Area rental market to efficiently find ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Safe storage for contraceptive devices may not always be easy ... Jersey and the other from Bradley Beach, New Jersey, there is an easy solution ... having to replace NuvaRings more often than necessary. As such, it affords peace of ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... , ... Beginning November 30th at 6:00 a.m. EST until 11:59 p.m. EST, ... of up to 20% off orders $80 or more to free gifts with purchases, there ... , As a competitive e-commerce website for skin care and cosmetic needs, customers will save ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 28, 2015 , ... There is only one major question facing ... last year? , This question has not been an easy question to answer. Especially ... age and the younger workforce don’t share the same discipline around working long hours. ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... According to an article published ... Toronto and the University of British Columbia suggested that laws requiring bicyclists to wear ... explains that part of the reason for the controversial conclusion is that, while helmets ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... Nov. 26, 2015 Research and Markets ... the "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ... Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging ... --> --> This ... the Italian therapeutic drug monitoring market, including emerging ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... the addition of the  "2016 Future ... European Cell Surface Marker Testing Market: ...  report to their offering.  --> ... addition of the  "2016 Future Horizons ...
(Date:11/25/2015)...  The total global healthcare industry is expected to grow ... Latin America has the highest projected growth at ... Japan ), is second with growth projected at 11.5%. ... healthcare expenditure. In 2013-2014, total government funded healthcare was nearly ... to 41.2% in 2013-2014. In real terms, out of pocket ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: