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Free recall of pleasant words from recency positions is especially sensitive to acute administration of cortisol

Tops, M., van der Pompe, G., Wijers, A. A., den Boer, W., Meijman, T. F. & Korf, J., Apr-2004, In : Psychoneuroendocrinology. 29, 3, p. 327 - 338 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • M. Tops
  • G. van der Pompe
  • A.A. Wijers
  • W den Boer
  • T.F. Meijman
  • J Korf

In a recent study we investigated the acute effects of cortisol administration in healthy male volunteers on free recall of pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral nouns using a between-subjects double-blind placebo-controlled design. The volunteers were administered 10 mg of hydrocortisone or placebo between 9:00 and 10:30. Two hours after administration of cortisol a decline in recall of neutral and pleasant words was found, while recall of unpleasant words did not change. These results are consistent with a possible inhibitory influence of cortisol on a prefrontal dopaminergic mechanism involved in approach and positivity bias. In this paper we first explain why this interpretation would predict recall of pleasant words from recency positions to be especially sensitive to cortisol administration. Comparing primacy and recency recall of pleasant and unpleasant words, there proved to be a selective decline in recall of pleasant recency words. These results did not appear to stem from differences in recall strategies between our groups of volunteers. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327 - 338
Number of pages12
JournalPsychoneuroendocrinology
Volume29
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2004

    Keywords

  • cortisol, serial position, recency, positivity bias, verbal memory, depression, DECLARATIVE MEMORY, SERIAL POSITION, NUCLEUS-ACCUMBENS, PREFRONTAL CORTEX, OUTPUT ORDER, DEPRESSION, RETRIEVAL, STRESS, HUMANS, MOOD

ID: 593526