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Postersession 6 - Brain and Periphery / Neuroendocrinology
Donnerstag, 03.06.2021:
16:00 - 18:00

Ort: Postersaal

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P122 - 750mg Metyrapone – sufficient to modify salivary cortisol in CP stress protocol

Lisa Drost1, Rebeck Dagmar1, Laura Quast1, Andreas Behrje1, Johannes Finke2, Gregor Domes1, Hartmut Schächinger1

1Universität Trier, Deutschland; 2Universität Siegen, Deutschland

The passive physical «Cold Pressor Test» (CPT) enriched with the active mental «Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task» (PASAT) reliably provokes profound activation of the autonomous nervous system (ANS) and the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, the latter resulting in the release of cortisol. Metyrapone is a well-known adrenocorticostatic agent which inhibits cortisol synthesis by blocking adrenal 11-beta-hydroxylase. This study aimed to investigate whether Metyrapone can specifically diminish the cortisol response after a stress protocol including CPT and PASAT. Our sample consisted of 19 healthy, young men. One hour after receiving either oral 750mg Metyrapone or placebo, both of their feet were exposed to ice water for 3 minutes while simultaneously performing the PASAT test. Salivary cortisol was collected every 20 min prior and every 10 min after the stress test. Subjective stress ratings were assessed before and after the stress test. Results showed that Metyrapone significantly lowered salivary cortisol at most time points. Peak cortisol levels differed significantly from baseline values after placebo, but not after Metyrapone intake. Subjective stress ratings remained unaffected by Metyrapone. This data indicates that 750mg of oral Metyrapone is sufficient to reduce overall cortisol levels. However, it remains unclear whether 750mg of oral Metyrapone is sufficient to specifically inhibit stress reactivity of the HPA axis.

P123 - A Pooled Preliminary Analysis on the Effects of Transcutaneous Auricular Vagus Nerve Stimulation on Salivary Alpha-Amylase as Noradrenergic Biomarker

Manon Giraudier, Carlos Ventura-Bort, Mathias Weymar

Department of Biological Psychology and Affective Science, Faculty of Human Sciences, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany

Introduction: There is multiple evidence pointing to a modulatory role of transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation (taVNS) on cognitive and affective functions, which is likely mediated by activation of the locus coeruleus-noradrenaline (LC-NA) system. However, reliable effects of taVNS on noradrenergic biomarkers have not been demonstrated yet. Possible reasons for this lack of replicability are relatively small sample sizes and the heterogeneity of stimulation procedures used across studies. The aim of the present study is to overcome these limitations by pooling existing data across labs that examined the effects of taVNS on salivary-alpha amylase (sAA), a putative indirect marker for noradrenergic activity.

Methods: sAA data from four of our taVNS studies with healthy subjects (N = 147) were analyzed using linear mixed models with log-transformed sAA data as predicted variable, and stimulation type (taVNS or sham stimulation) and time (before or after stimulation) as predictors.

Results: The pooled analysis across these four studies revealed that taVNS, compared to sham stimulation, significantly increased sAA levels over time.

Discussion: Our preliminary data supports the assumption that taVNS affects the LC-mediated noradrenergic system. This is an ongoing project and more data from different labs will be included with an increased number of variables (e.g., stimulation duration, stimulation intensity) to identify further factors that may modulate the tVNS-induced sAA changes.

P124 - Acute stress alters probabilistic reversal learning in healthy participants

Lara Wieland1, Claudia Ebrahimi1, Teresa Katthagen1, Martin Panitz2, Lennart Luettgau3, Andreas Heinz1, Zsuzsika Sjoerds4, Florian Schlagenhauf1

1Charité Universitätsmedizin, Deutschland; 2Max-Planck-Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany; 3Max Planck University College London Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research, London, UK; 4Leiden University, Netherlands

Introduction Stressful situations can improve or impair learning from rewards. Reversal learning requires flexible adaptation to sudden changes in reward contingencies. Acute stress effects on reversal learning are rarely investigated but highly relevant for psychiatric disorders. Here, we employed model-based functional MRI in a within-subject design with healthy participants to investigate the effect of acute social on flexible behavioral adaptation

Methods Healthy participants (n=28) underwent MRI during a reversal learning task, once after the Trier Social Stress Test and after a control condition in separate sessions. During the task participants chose between two stimuli with anti-correlated reward contingencies, in order to obtain rewards in three phases with different levels of volatility. Effects of stress on choice behavior were investigated using generalized linear mixed-effects models and a set of computational models describing different learning processes that might have generated the data (hybrid Pearce-Hall/Rescorla-Wagner). Models were fitted using a hierarchical Bayesian approach with reward prediction errors (RPE) as parametric first-level regressor for fMRI.

Results Cortisol responses demonstrated that stress induction was successful. Stress significantly albeit subtly increased correct responses. Model comparison revealed that a Rescorla-Wagner model with individual scaling of the inverse decision temperature best explained the observed behavior under stress. On the neural level, RPE signals were coded in striatum and vmPFC, but we did not observe whole-brain correctable effects of stress on RPE representation.

Discussion Our study shows that acute social stress has an impact on reversal learning and the need for future studies to explore high interindividual variability further.

P125 - Acute stress effects on emotion regulation strategy preference and success as a function of stimulus intensity

Katja Langer, Valerie L. Jentsch, Oliver T. Wolf

Department of Cognitive Psychology, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Faculty of Psychology, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany

Introduction: Stress has been shown to initialize a shift from flexible, demanding to rigid, undemanding cognitive processes. Reappraisal and distraction are two frequently studied emotion regulation strategies that vary in their effectiveness as a function of stimulus intensity and their cognitive demands. As such, one might assume that stress may favor preference for distraction over reappraisal serving an adaptive purpose. To test this hypothesis, we investigated acute stress effects on preference for reappraisal or distraction in dependence of stimulus intensity and additionally explored its impact on emotion regulation success.

Methods: Eighty healthy male participants underwent the Trier Social Stress Test or a control condition 25min prior to an emotion regulation choice paradigm asking them to choose between reappraisal and distraction downregulating upcoming emotions towards low and high intensive negative pictures. Affective ratings and pupil dilation served as emotion regulation outcome measures. Relative preference for reappraisal or distraction for each participant with respect to both stimulus intensities was determined.

Results: Stress led to higher odds preferring distraction relative to reappraisal to downregulate high intensive emotions. No such prediction of strategy preference by stress occurred for low intensive emotions. In addition, stressed participants reported to be more successful downregulating high intensive emotions compared to controls, which was positively correlated to their cortisol increases.

Discussion: Taken together, our findings might imply that stress favors preference for less cognitively demanding strategies particularly when downregulating high intensive emotions suggesting adaptive strategy choices in response to acute stressors.

P126 - Affektive Sprachverarbeitung und chronischer psychischer Stress: eine Online-Studie.

Alessia-Nadia Günther1, Silke Paulmann2, Martiel Salim1, Jochen Kaiser1, Maren Schmidt-Kassow1

1Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Deutschland; 2University of Essex, UK

Unser Wissen über Sprache ist in den letzten Jahrzehnten explosionsartig gewachsen. Umso erstaunlicher ist , dass wenig darüber bekannt ist, wie psychosoziale Faktoren wie Depression oder Stress die Sprachwahrnehmung beeinflussen können. Dieser Mangel an Forschung ist überraschend angesichts der Prävalenz von diesen Faktoren und der Tatsache, dass gesprochene Sprache unser primäres Kommunikationsmittel ist und eine Beeinträchtigung dieses Systems unter Stress vielfältige negative Auswirkungen haben kann. Besonders relevant ist dies auch im medizinischen Bereich, da Patienten bei einem Arztbesuch in der Regel akut, aber zu einem großen Teil auch chronisch gestresst sind.

In der aktuellen prospektiven Beobachtungsstudie, welche wir online an 200 Versuchspersonen durchführen, untersuchen wir die Schwierigkeit der Emotionserkennung in der Sprache in Abhängigkeit von dem subjektiven Stressempfinden. Dazu werden die Versuchspersonen gebeten, die Emotion von einem gehörten Pseudosatz einzuschätzen. Die Sätze wurden sowohl emotional neutral als auch in 4 Emotionen (angenehme Überraschung, Trauer, Angst, Freude) eingesprochen. Als abhängige Variable messen wir die Hit rate und die Reaktionzeiten. Außerdem fragen wir das subjektive Stressempfinden der letzten vier Wochen sowie die Stressbewältigungsstrategien der Versuchspersonen ab.

Wir erwarten, dass grundsätzlich Emotionen schlechter erkannt werden, je gestresster die Person in dem vergangenen Monat war. Für die Emotion Angst erwarten wir jedoch auf Grund der Aktivität der Spiegelneurone bei gestressteren Personen eine bessere Emotionsdetektion als bei weniger gestressten Personen.

Da in der Literatur vielfach soziale Unterstützung als wirksamer Stresspuffer berichtet wird, erwarten wir einen weniger starken Einbruch in der Emotionserkennung, wenn die Versuchsperson auf soziale Unterstützung als primäre Bewältigungsstrategie zurückgreift.

P127 - Association of daily life stress with the cortisol awakening response over a 14-months stress phase

Hannah L. Peter, Marina Giglberger, Sandra Zänkert, Gina-Isabelle Henze, Christoph Bärtl, Julian Konzok, Brigitte M. Kudielka, Stefan Wüst

Insitute of Psychologie, University of Regensburg, Germany

The objective of the prospective-longitudinal and quasi-experimental JurSTRESS project is to contribute to the understanding of the biopsychological mechanisms mediating the well-known association between chronic stress and the risk for several disorders.

In this project, 471 law students from Bavarian universities are studied over a 14-months period. The experimental group (EG) consists of students experiencing a long-lasting and significant stress phase, namely the preparation for the “Erste Juristische Staatsprüfung”, while law students assigned to the control group (CG) are studied over an equally long period without particular stress exposure.

In the present analysis, we focus on the association of daily life stress with the cortisol awakening response (CAR) over this long-lasting stress phase. The CAR is a well-established marker of cortisol regulation in psychoneuroendocrinology. To investigate stress-related alterations in the CAR, we included 204 students, 97 subjects from the EG and 107 from the CG. Stress perception in daily life is measured with repeated ambulatory assessments on six sampling points (T1 – T6), with the first assessment taking place twelve months prior to the exam. T1, T2, T5 and T6 consist of two consecutive sampling days, whereas T3 and T4 - both close to the exam - measure stress perception on one day. Subjects complete ten electronic queries on each sampling day. The CAR is assessed via saliva samplings after awakening, +30 and +45 minutes on the first day of each sampling point. Since data collection is not fully completed, results will be presented at the conference.

P128 - Cortisol administration prior to extinction generalization results in return of fear after reinstatement

Bianca Hagedorn, Oliver T. Wolf, Christian J. Merz

Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Deutschland

While extinction learning appears to be stimulus-specific, generalization of fear seems to be naturally acquired as it is frequently observed in fear-related disorders. Thus, treatments aiming to generalize extinction learning might comprise the chance to overcome stimulus-specificity and consequently reduce relapses, especially after the encounter of stressful events.

In this pre-registered, three-day fear conditioning study, we aimed to create a generalized extinction memory trace in 60 healthy men and women using multiple sizes of one conditioned stimulus (CS+G; generalized) during extinction training, whereas the other CS was solely presented in its original size (CS+N; non-generalized). Extinction training took place either after pharmacological administration of the human stress hormone cortisol or placebo.

Following successful fear acquisition on the first day, prolonged activation of the bilateral insula and dACC for CS+G minus CS+N indicated prolonged fear during extinction training for the CS+G on the second day. During retrieval on the third day, an activation of the left hippocampus was observed for the contrast CS+G vs CS+N. In line with our hypotheses, amygdala and dACC responding during reinstatement test was reduced for the CS+G as compared to CS+N. However, cortisol abolished this dACC activation relative to placebo.

Extinction generalization processes appear to rely on prolonged fear expression that in turn leads to attenuated return of fear after reinstatement. Cortisol administration prior to extinction training, however, appears to increase consolidation of this prolonged fear signaling leading to its reemergence after unsignaled reinstatement shocks.

P129 - Do neural responses to acute stress predict chronic stress perception in daily life over 14 months?

Marina Giglberger1, Hannah L. Peter1, Gina-Isabelle Henze1, Sandra Zänkert1, Christoph Bärtl1, Julian Konzok1, Brigitte M. Kudielka1, Peter Kirsch2, Stefan Wüst1

1Institute of Psychology, University of Regensburg, Germany; 2Department for Clinical Psychology, Central Institute of Mental Health, University of Heidelberg, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany

The objective of the prospective-longitudinal and quasi-experimental JurSTRESS project is to contribute to the understanding of the biopsychological mechanisms mediating the well-known association between chronic stress and the risk for several disorders.

In this project, 471 law students from Bavarian universities are studied over a 14-months period. The experimental group (EG) consists of students experiencing a long-lasting and significant stress phase, namely the preparation for the “Erste Juristische Staatsprüfung”, while law students assigned to the control group are studied over an equally long period without particular stress exposure.

In the present analysis, we focus on the predictive value of neural responses to acute stress for stress perception in daily life over 14 months. Thus, the fMRI paradigm ScanSTRESS was applied to 123 students from the JurSTRESS sample at study entry, including 60 subjects from the EG and 63 subjects from the CG. ScanSTRESS consists of two runs with stress and control conditions and it prompts the subject to solve arithmetic and rotation tasks while being evaluated by an observation panel. Stress perception in daily life is measured with repeated ambulatory assessments on six sampling points (T1 – T6), with the first assessment twelve months prior to the exam. T1, T2, T5 and T6 consist of two consecutive sampling days, whereas T3 and T4 - both close to the exam - measure stress perception on one day. Subjects complete ten electronic queries on each sampling day. Since data collection is not fully completed, results will be presented at the conference.

P130 - Does stress influence cortisol synchrony in groups during the Trier Social Stress Test for Groups or a non-stressful control task?

Bernadette Denk1,2, Stephanie J. Dimitroff1, Maria Meier1, Annika B.E. Benz1, Ulrike U. Bentele1, Eva Unternaehrer1,3, Nathalie F. Popovic1, Wolfgang Gaissmaier1,2, Jens C. Pruessner1,2

1Univerisity of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany; 2Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour, Konstanz, Germany; 3Child- and Adolescent Research Department, Psychiatric University Hospitals Basel (UPK), University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.

Physiological synchrony (PS) is defined as the co-occurrence and interdependence of physiological activity between interaction partners. Previous research has uncovered numerous influences on the extent of PS, such as relationship type or individual characteristics. Here, we investigate the influence of acute stress on PS. We do so in a setting in which PS was not promoted but contact between group members was explicitly minimized. We reanalyzed cortisol and subjective stress data from 138 participants (mean age = 23.48 ± 3.99, 47.1% female) who previously underwent the Trier Social Stress Test for groups (TSST-G) or a non-stressful control task together, collected as part of a larger project (Popovic et al., 2020). Using a stability and influence model, an established method to test for synchrony, we tested whether individuals’ cortisol concentrations could be predicted by group members’ cortisol levels. We found PS in participants who were in the same group, the extent of which was stronger in the non-stressful control condition. This suggests that while PS can occur in group settings even with spurious interaction, stressor exposure might attenuate its extent. We argue that if PS occurs in a sample where interaction was minimal, the phenomenon might be more widespread than previously thought. Further, stressor exposure might influence whether a situation allows for PS. We conclude that PS should be investigated within group settings with various degrees of social interaction to further expose mechanisms of and influence on PS.

P131 - Düsseldorf Social Anxiety Test (DSAT): Anxiety instead of Stress

Olga Rashidi, Katrin T. Lübke, Bettina M. Pause

Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Deutschland

Introduction: The Trier Social Stress Test for groups (TSST-G) is a reliable stress induction method provoking both, anxiety and anger. In this study, the TSST-G was modified to a Düsseldorf Social Anxiety Test (DSAT) in order to induce anxiety rather than anger.

Methods: A total of 26 men participated in a mock assessment center (anxiety session), with three participants per group performing in front of a female evaluator. The two TSST-G tasks (job interview, mental arithmetics) were adjusted to three DSAT tasks (job interview, discussion of a politically controversial topic, defense speech). The control session consisted of heart rate-adjusted ergometer training in the presence of an experimenter. Physiological (saliva cortisol) and psychological (State Trait Anxiety Inventory, range 20-80, State Trait Anger Expression Inventory, range 15-60) stress indicators were assessed at the beginning and at the end of the DSAT.

Results: Participants had a higher saliva cortisol level during the anxiety session compared to the control session (p < .001), and felt more anxious during the anxiety session (M = 36.37, SD = 8.07) compared to the control session (M = 30.45, SD = 3.59, p = .001). They reported a near to bottom anger level in the anxiety session (M = 16.04, SD = 1.56) and in the control session (M = 15.23, SD = 0.60, p = .008).

Discussion: The results demonstrate that the DSAT induces anxiety, but no psychologically significant anger. Thus, it appears as the method of choice when induction of anxiety without anger is desirable.

P132 - Effekte einer Lichtintervention bei Student*Innen mit starken Stresssymptomen - eine Pilotstudie

Benjamin Stampfer

Leopold-Franzens Universität Innsbruck, Österreich

Anhaltender Stress ist einer der wichtigsten Risikofaktoren für die psychische und physische Gesundheit von Student*Innen. Bisher ist die klinische Evidenz unzureichend, um klare Empfehlungen für eine effektive Behandlung von stressbedingten Störungen zu geben. In Situationen mit intensivem Stress scheitern konventionelle Methoden, wie Entspannung und achtsamkeitsbasierte Programme oft an mangelnder vorheriger Übung. Kognitiv-behaviorale Interventionen werden nur von wenigen genützt. Obwohl Medikamente die Stresssymptome innerhalb weniger Tage verringern können, sind deren Nebenwirkungen nicht zu vernachlässigen. Daher besteht ein hoher Bedarf an einer effektiven und effizienten Behandlungsmethode von stressbedingten Störungen bei Student*Innen. Lichttherapie ist eine wirkungsvolle Behandlungsmethode für viele psychische Störungen, z. B. affektive Störungen, Schlafstörungen und Essstörungen.

Da helles Licht seine positive Wirkung am besten durch eine morgendliche Exposition entfaltet, nutzen die Studienteilnehmer*Innen, hoch gestresste Student*Innen, die Lichtintervention direkt nach dem Aufwachen für eine Stunde über einen Zeitraum von drei Wochen. Die vorliegende randomisiert-kontrollierte Feldstudie besteht aus zwei unterschiedlichen Lichtinterventionen: helles weißes Licht (Verum) und stark gedimmtes, rötliches Licht (Placebo). Wir stellen die Hypothese auf, dass eine helle Lichtintervention im Vergleich zur Placebo-Intervention die subjektiven und physiologischen Stressparameter der Student*Innen reduziert, ihre Stimmung, kognitiven Funktionen und Schlafparameter verbessert und den zirkadianen Aktivitätsrhythmus stabilisiert. Die Daten werden mithilfe kontinuierlicher ökologischer Momentaufnahmen (EMA), kontinuierlicher Aktigraphie am Handgelenk, einer Haarprobenmethode (ELISA), zur Ableitung der Cortisolwerte und einer Methode zur Messung der kognitiven Funktionen erhoben.

Aufgrund der geringen Stichprobengröße (n=22) konnten keine signifikanten Interaktionseffekte beobachtet werden. Die Analysen zeigen jedoch Tendenzen in Richtung einer Stressreduktion durch eine helle Lichtintervention. Die Stichprobengröße der Hauptstudie umfasst 100 Studienteilnehmer*Innen.

P133 - Eignen sich die zirkulierenden Monozyten als Zellkulturmodell für die Stressforschung: Ergebnisse aus einer tierexperimentellen Studie und einer Humanstudie

Andrea Geiss

Universität zu Köln, Deutschland


Die Untersuchung zirkulierender Monozyten als Zellkulturmodell erfreut sich in der Stressforschung großer Beliebtheit, weil diese Zellpopulation als antigen-präsentierende Zelle (APZ) eine zentrale Rolle bei der Auslösung einer spezifischen Immunreaktion spielt. Neben den Monozyten üben auch die plasmazytoiden-dendritischen Zellen (PDZs) die Funktion einer APZ aus. Es wurde bisher noch nicht untersucht, ob dieses Zellkulturmodell ohne vorherige Prüfung eingesetzt werden kann. Dieser Fragestellung gingen die vorliegende tierexperimentelle Studie und die Humanstudie nach.


In der tierexperimentellen Studie wurde bei vier Schweinen das Bandscheibenkerngewebe aus der Bandscheibe entnommen, in Titankammern (NP Kammern) gelegt und danach die gefüllten NP Kammern unter der Haut implantiert. In der Kontrollbedingung wurden dem narkotisierten Schwein auf der gegenüberliegenden Körperseite leere Titankammern implantiert. Nach einer Woche wurden die Gewebeflüssigkeiten entnommen und durchflusszytometrisch analysiert.

In der Humanstudie wurden aus dem operativ entfernten Bandscheibengewebe von 15 Patienten mit einem freien Sequester und drei Patienten mit einem subligamentären Sequester enzymatisch eine Zellsuspension isoliert und die angefärbten Zellen durchflusszytometrisch analysiert.


Im Vergleich zu den leeren Kammern konnte in den NP Kammern der signifikant größte Anteil der Zellen als CD14+Zellen, die auf der Oberfläche auch CD80 exprimierten, gezählt werden. In der Humanstudie konnte bei den 13 Patienten, deren C-Reaktives Protein (CRP)-Werte normal waren, ein geringerer Anteil der Zellen als CD14+CD11c+Monozyten und ein größerer Anteil als CD123+CD4+PDZs identifiziert werden.


Die Untersuchungsbefunde bestätigen nicht die Hypothese, dass die zrkulierenden Monozyten als Zellkulturmodell für die unspezifische Immunreaktion ohne Prüfung verwendet werden kann. Stattdessen sollte zuerst untersucht werden, ob der prozentuale Anteil dieser Zellpopulation am größten ist.

P134 - Estradiol and oxytocin modulate sex differences in hippocampus reactivity and episodic memory

Marie Coenjaerts1, Isabelle Trimborn1, Berina Adrovic1, Alexandra Philipsen2, Birgit Stoffel-Wagner3, René Hurlemann4,5, Dirk Scheele1,4

1Division of Medical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Bonn, 53105 Bonn, Germany; 2Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Bonn, 53105 Bonn, Germany; 3Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Bonn, 53105 Bonn, Germany; 4Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Oldenburg, 26129 Oldenburg; 5Research Center Neurosensory Science, University of Oldenburg, 26129 Oldenburg


Considerable evidence supports sex differences in episodic memory favoring women. The hormones estradiol and oxytocin both affect episodic memory, but possible sex-specific effects and hormonal interactions have not been systemically tested in humans.


We conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study involving healthy women (n = 120) and men (n = 120). Participants were scanned under four experimental conditions: 1. estradiol gel (2 mg) and intranasal oxytocin (24 IU), 2. placebo gel and intranasal oxytocin, 3. estradiol gel and placebo spray, 4. placebo gel and placebo spray. During the fMRI, participants viewed positive, neutral and negative scenes. A surprise recognition task 72 h later was used to classify encoding trials as remembered or not-remembered. The study protocol and analysis have been pre-registered and the data will be made publicly available (


Under placebo, women showed a significantly better recognition memory and increased hippocampus responses to subsequently remembered items compared to men independent of the emotional valence. The separate treatments with either estradiol or oxytocin significantly diminished this mnemonic and hippocampal sex difference, whereas the combined treatments cancelled each other out.


Collectively, our results suggest that estradiol and oxytocin play a crucial role in modulating sex differences in episodic memory. Furthermore, possible antagonistic interactions between estradiol and oxytocin could explain previously observed opposing hormonal effects in women and men.

P135 - Feelings from the Heart: Developing HRV decrease-trigger algorithms via multilevel hyperplane simulation to detect psychosocially meaningful episodes in everyday life

Andreas R. Schwerdtfeger, Christian Rominger

University of Graz, Österreich

Heart rate variability (HRV) has been associated with diverse psychosocial concepts, like stress, anxiety, depression, rumination, social support, positive affect, and self-worth, among others. Although recent research devoted the analysis of cardiac-psychosocial interactions in daily life using ecological momentary assessment, traditional time sampling designs are compromised by more or less random pairing of cardiac and psychosocial variables across several time points. Grounding on the concept of additional heart rate (Mrytek & Brügner, 1996) and additional HRV (Brown et al., 2016), which aims to control for metabolic-related changes in cardiac activity, we aim to present an approach to derive algorithm settings, which can later be used to automatically trigger the assessment of psychosocial states by online-analysis of transient HRV changes. As a first step, we used an already published data set (Schwerdtfeger, Rominger, & Obser, 2020) in order to identify potential triggers offline indexing meaningful HRV decrements as related to low quality social interactions. Two patterns of non-metabolic HRV decreases (i.e., magnitude of the decreases, frequency and duration of decreases) were systematically manipulated and quantified by binary triggers (HRV decrease detected vs. not). Triggers were subjected to multilevel models predicting (lower levels of) social support. Effect estimates, significance levels and bootstrap power simulations were then visualized on a hyperplane to inform about the most robust trigger settings. A trigger setting associated with 14 HRV decreases out of 29 minutes seems to be particularly sensitive to low quality of social interactions. Further algorithm refinements and validation studies are encouraged.

P136 - Geschlechterunterschiede in der maximalen Griffkraft modulieren nicht die Reaktivität im Handgrip-Test

Laura Quast1, Andreas Behrje1, Johannes B. Finke1,2, Hartmut Schächinger1

1Universität Trier, Deutschland; 2Universität Siegen, Deutschland

Einleitung: Im klinischen Kontext ist der Handgrip-Test als Instrument zur Erfassung der körperlichen Gesundheit seit Langem etabliert, während er in der Psychophysiologie erst seit Kurzem als Stressor genutzt wird. Bei Dauerbelastung (3 min) wird eine stärkere kardiovaskuläre Reaktivität bei Männern sowie höhere Schmerzwahrnehmung bei Frauen beobachtet. Zugleich zeigen Männer jedoch eine deutlich höhere maximale Griffkraft als Frauen. Untersucht werden soll daher anhand einer Reanalyse bestehender Daten, inwieweit das Geschlecht einen Einfluss auf die Griffkraft und weitere physiologische Faktoren hat und ob Geschlechterunterschiede in der Stressreaktion (kardiovaskuläre Reaktivität sowie Schmerzwahrnehmung) durch Unterschiede in maximaler Griffkraft erklärt werden können.

Methoden: In verschiedenen Experimenten absolvierten 96 Studenten und Studentinnen (50 weibl.) einen Test ihrer maximalen Griffkraft sowie anschließend ihrer Kraftausdauerleistung, in welchem ein Griffball mit der dominanten Hand mit 45% (42-48%) ihrer Maximalkraft für 3 Minuten gehalten werden sollte. Zusätzlich wurden verschiedene physiologische und psychologische Variablen (Größe, Gewicht, Fitness, Schlaf, Ratings von Angst, Erregung und Stress, Selbstwert) durch Anamnese- bzw. Selbstauskunftsverfahren erfasst.

Ergebnisse: Die Mittelwerte der maximalen Griffkraft von Männern und Frauen unterschieden sich, wie erwartet, signifikant voneinander (p<.001). Wenn der Einfluss der maximalen Griffkraft (sowie anderer Variablen) auf die Indikatoren der Stressreaktion statistisch kontrolliert wurde, blieb ein Geschlechtereffekt signifikant.

Diskussion: Das Profil der Reaktivität während des Handgrip-Tests scheint sich geringfügig, aber signifikant zwischen Männern und Frauen zu unterscheiden. In zukünftigen Untersuchungen könnte der Einfluss von weiteren physiologischen und psychologischen Faktoren wie Stimmung und Motivation oder die Anatomie der Hände auf die maximale Griffkraft miteinbezogen werden.

P137 - MRI as a stressor: Analysis of the psychological and physiological stress response of clinical patients to MRI and its predictors

Janika Madl1,3, Rolf Janka2, Susanne Bay3, Nicolas Rohleder1

1Department of Health Psychology, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg; 2Radiological Institute, University Hospital Erlangen; 3Siemens Healthcare GmbH Erlangen

Background: MRI-examinations provoke stress and anxiety in many patients and elicit a physiological stress response of cortisol and salivary α-amylase (sAA). However, the latter findings are mostly based on non-clinical samples challenging their validity for clinical patients. Further, little is known about factors that predict the stress response. This study characterizes the psychological and physiological stress response of clinical patients to MRI and its determinants.

Methods: Ninety-nine MRI-patients of the radiology department of the University-Hospital-Erlangen participated in the study (MAge=48.93, SDAge=14.92; 60.6% female). Patients filled in questionnaires on their psychological state and provided saliva samples before and after the examination. Eighty-eight patients sent back an additional questionnaire on personality factors (response rate: 88.89%).

Results: While psychological stress and anxiety declined from pre- to post-MRI, cortisol- and sAA-levels remained constant. Women reported higher anxiety levels and lacked the sAA-decrease observed in men. Physiological stress was unrelated to most psychological measures of stress, anxiety, or depression except for claustrophobia. More severe diseases were associated with higher post-MRI-anxiety but not physiological stress. The examined body part was unrelated to physiological stress, but mammary patients were most anxious. Contrarily, pathologies only differed in the physiological reaction. It was least pronounced for musculoskeletal/connective-tissue-diseases and neoplasms and most for diseases of the circulation-system (cortisol) or external violations (sAA).

Conclusions: The physiological and psychological responses of clinical patients to MRI seem to depend on different factors and are largely independent. Given the lack of other studies on this topic more research is needed to consolidate our findings.

P138 - Need for Cognition, Impulsivität und Diabetes. Mögliche Pfade zum besseren Verständnis des Langzeitzuckers.

Alexander Hadj-Abo, Monika Fleischhauer, Sören Enge

MSB Medical school Berlin Hochschule für Gesundheit und Medizin



Impulsivität zeichnet sich durch mangelnde Reflektion und vorausschauende Planung aus, wohingegen Need for Cognition (NFC) als intrinsische kognitive Motivation zur elaborierten Informationsverarbeitung charakterisiert ist. Studien legen für beide Persönlichkeitsfaktoren Zusammenhänge mit Gesundheits- und Adhärenzverhalten nahe. Ziel dieser Studie war es daher, die potentielle Rolle dieser Persönlichkeitseigenschaften als Protektiv- bzw. Risikofaktoren bezüglich Diabetesselbstmanagement und glykämischer Kontrolle als Biomarker des Langzeitzuckers zu untersuchen. Des Weiteren wurde untersucht, ob diabetesspezifische Selbstwirksamkeit als Mediator für diese Zusammenhänge fungiert.


Anhand einer Stichprobe von 77 Patienten mit Typ 2 Diabetes wurden selbstberichtetes NFC, Impulsivität, diabetesspezifische Selbstwirksamkeitserwartung und Diabetesselbstmanagement erfasst. Glykämische Kontrolle wurde anhand des Biomarkers HbA1c beurteilt. Dieser spiegelt den durchschnittlichen Blutzuckerwert der letzten 3 Monate wider und wird aus dem Vollblut gewonnen.


NFC wies starke positive Assoziationen mit Diabetesselbstmanagement und glykämischer Kontrolle (HbA1c) auf, während bei Impulsivität eine inverse Beziehung beobachtet wurde. Ergebnisse einfacher und serieller Mediationsmodelle zeigten zudem, dass sowohl die Effekte von NFC als auch von Impulsivität durch Selbstwirksamkeitserwartung mediiert wurden.


Die Befunde unserer Studie legen nahe, dass NFC einen möglichen protektiven und Impulsivität einen möglichen Risikofaktor für effektives Diabetesselbstmanagement und die glykämische Kontrolle (HbA1c) als Biomarker für den Langzeitzucker darstellt. Diese Persönlichkeitseigenschaften könnten mithin eingesetzt werden, um einfach anwendbare Screeningverfahren zu entwickeln, welche patientenzentriertere Programme oder Behandlungen ermöglichen könnten.

P139 - Neuroendocrine trait-vulnerability markers of premenstrual syndrome: An ERP-study across the menstrual cycle

Norina M. Schmidt, Katrina Henkel, Laura Geißert, Anna Luxem, Jürgen Hennig, Aisha J.L. Munk

Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Deutschland


According to the biopsychosocial model of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), trait-like alterations in structure and function of neuroendocrine systems predispose affected individuals to experience adverse physiological and psychological symptoms during their premenstrual days. In order to study alterations of emotional processing in PMS, gonadal steroids were assessed, and the event-related P300 component was recorded as an indicator of information processing and (selective) attention.


A non-clinical sample of N = 35 naturally cycling women with (n = 19) and without (n = 16) PMS completed an Emotional Picture Stroop Paradigm during follicular phase, ovulation and luteal phase. P300 amplitudes towards erotic, positive and neutral pictures were assessed. Furthermore, subjects provided saliva samples for analysis of gonadal steroids. PMS was measured using the trait version of the PMS inventory.


Subjects affected by PMS showed reduced P300 amplitudes in reaction to all picture categories across cycle phases. However, groups (PMS vs. non-PMS) did not differ in their reaction towards emotional vs. neutral pictures. While no group differences were observed in progesterone and testosterone levels, overall estradiol levels were higher in individuals affected by PMS. Assessed hormones were not associated with differences in emotional picture processing.


Results indicate reduced allocation of attentional resources to different classes of social stimuli as a trait- rather than state-vulnerability marker in women suffering from PMS. However, further studies - especially in clinical samples - are needed to clarify these results.

P140 - No general effects of stress on working memory performance using the ScanStress paradigm

Hannes Noack1, Leandra Kuhn2, Vanessa Nieratschker1, Ute Habel2, Birgit Derntl1

1Universität Tübingen, Deutschland; 2RWTH Aachen, Deutschland

At the group level, stress has adverse effects on cognitive performance. However, as huge interindividual differences in stress reactivity exist, there is also a large variability in studies reporting on the relationship between acute stress and cognitive performance on the behavioral as well as the neural level. For the latter, some studies report increases of lateral prefrontal activity after stress, whereas others report decreases and yet again others report differences in hippocampal or amygdala activity.

Here we studied 0- and 3-back working memory performance in 172 young participants (94 male, age 18-33) pre and post the ScanStress stress induction paradigm. Effects of the stress induction were measured using salivary cortisol, heart rate, and subjective stress levels.

We consistently induced subjective and cardiovascular stress reactions but no overall salivary cortisol response. Working memory performance did not change from pre to post and there were no reliable differences between male and female participants or cortisol responders and non-responders. At the neural level, we found load dependent activity in the fronto-parietal executive control network, which was not further modulated by stress induction (pre / post stress), sex, cortisol response, or any interaction between these factors.

Our results suggest that subjective and cardiovascular stress responses can be effectively elicited using the ScanStress paradigm whereas the cortisol response was rather weak. Despite our rather large sample size, our data does not correspond well with previous findings of adverse effects of stress on working memory and lowered stress-related lateral prefrontal, hippocampal or amygdala activity.

P141 - Non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation increases stomach-brain coupling in a vagal afferent network

Sophie Müller1, Vanessa Teckentrup1, Ignacio Rebollo2, Corinna Schulz1, Manfred Hallschmid3,4,5, Nils B. Kroemer1

1University of Tübingen, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Germany; 2German Institute of Human Nutrition, Department of Decision Neuroscience and Nutrition (DNN), Germany; 3University of Tübingen, Department of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, Germany; 4German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), Tübingen, Germany; 5Institute for Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases of the Helmholtz Center Munich at the Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany

Maintaining energy homeostasis is vital and mainly supported by vagal signaling between peripheral organs and the brain. Whereas previous research has established the existence of a gastric network in the brain, we currently lack methods to modulate stomach-brain interactions to better characterize their functional role.

To close this gap, we investigated the effect of right-sided acute transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation (taVNS) versus sham stimulation (randomized crossover-design) on the coupling between brain activity (as indexed by resting-state fMRI) and gastric frequency (as indexed by electrogastrography, EGG) in 31 (20 female) healthy participants. To identify brain regions coupled to the intrinsic gastric rhythm, we computed phase coupling of fMRI and EGG time series at rest before and after onset of the stimulation (taVNS vs. sham; ~10 min each, collected on different days).

Independent of stimulation, we confirmed key nodes of the gastric network, such as the primary somatosensory cortex and the cingulate sulcus. In line with vagal afferent modulation, taVNS increased stomach-brain coupling in the nucleus of the solitary tract (pSVC = 0.015) of the brain stem. We observed additional increases in coupling in the dopaminergic midbrain.

In line with preclinical research, our results suggest that acute taVNS modulates stomach-brain coupling, possibly through midbrain dopaminergic pathways. We conclude that taVNS could be a promising tool to investigate neuro-gastric coupling, including potential links to somatic symptoms in neurological and mental disorders (e.g., Parkinson's disease or depression).

P142 - Perceived stress, depressive symptoms, and the cortisol awakening response in times of crisis – a longitudinal study in young German adults during the COVID-19 pandemic

Maria Meier1, Hannah Rentschler1, Annika B E Benz1, Bernadette F Denk1, Ulrike U Bentele1, Stephanie J Dimitroff1, Jens C Pruessner1, Eva Unternaehrer2

1Department of Psychology, University of Constance, Constance, Germany; 2Child and Adolescent Research Department, Psychiatric University Hospitals Basel, University of Basel, Switzerland

Introduction. The pandemic caused by Sars-CoV-2 is a worldwide health crisis with a strong impact on individuals and the society, and unknown long-term effects on psychlogical health. In the past, chronic stress and depressive symptoms have been linked to changes in the regulation of the endocrine stress system. In this study we monitored perceived stress (PS) and depressive symptoms (DS) during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and investigate how they relate to the cortisol awakening response (CAR), an integral marker of the endocrine stress system.

Methods. We assessed PS (Perceived Stress Scale) and DS (Brief Symptoms Inventory subscale) in German adults just prior to the pandemic (t0=autumn 2019), and at three subsequent timepoints (t1=spring 2020, t2=autumn 2020, t3=spring 2021) using an online survey. The CAR was assessed by measuring salivary cortisol levels at awakening and +30, +45, +60min thereafter on two consecutive workdays in March/April 2021. We hypothesized that PS increased significantly after t0, and that this increase is linked to an increase in DS. Further, we will test whether PS- and/or DS-dynamics predict the CAR at t3.

Results. N=33 (n=26 female, meanage=26.24, SDage=9.46) participants completed all components of the study. PS increased by 14.75% (difference t0-t1: t(32)=-1.37, p=.090, d=-0.24) and remained heightened throughout t2 and t3. DS increased by 20.18% (difference t0-t1: t(32)=-2.34, p=.013, d=-0.41) and remained heightened thereafter. PS increase from t0 to t1 was significantly related to DS increase in the same interval, r(31)=.37, p=.032.

Discussion. Further results will be presented and discussed at the conference.


P143 - Physiological stress in response to dual- and multitasking demands – A systematic review and meta-analysis

Linda Becker1, Helena C. Kaltenegger2, Dennis Nowak2, Matthias Weigl2,3, Nicolas Rohleder1

1Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Deutschland; 2Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München Klinikum, Deutschland; 3Universitätsklinikum Bonn, Deutschland

Introduction: Doing several things at the same time can be perceived as demanding with the individual perception of being stressed. But this does not necessarily indicate that physiological stress systems become activated during dual- or multitasking (DT/MT). Multitasking describes the activity of performing multiple (at least two) tasks at the same time. Dual tasking refers to the sequential switching between two tasks.

Methods: The aim of our systematic review and meta-analysis was to investigate whether physiological stress systems become activated in response to DT/MT and whether these physiological response patterns are higher compared to single tasking. We focused on the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS), the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS), the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis, and the immune system.

Results: In total, sixteen studies were identified as eligible. Our main findings were that SNS activity is significantly higher and PNS activity is significantly lower during DT/MT than during single tasking. No HPA axis responses were found. No studies were identified in which immune system re-activity to DT/MT was investigated that met our inclusion criteria.

Discussion: We present the first systematic review on physiological stress system activity in response to DT/MT demands. Our analysis confirms that DT/MT is not only associated with the subjective feeling of being stressed but must be considered as an objectively measurable physiological stressor, which is related to an up-regulation of the SNS and a down-regulation of the PNS. Our findings have important implications, because multitasking requirements are becoming increasingly common in modern living and working environments.

P144 - Probing the association between psychological resilience and brain network dynamics

Dominik Kraft1, Cindy Eckart1, Christian Fiebach1,2

1Department of Psychology, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany; 2Brain Imaging Center, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany


Clinical neuroimaging has established a link between changes in intrinsic functional brain connectivity and psychological disorders. Consequently, it has also become a focus of interest to understand the neurobiological preconditions for preserving mental health even in the face of stress and adversity (resilience; e.g., Southwick & Charney, 2012). Two recent studies suggest an association between psychological resilience and brain network dynamics, based on resting state EEG (Paban et al., 2019) and fMRI data (Long et al., 2019). However, whereas EEG suffers from inherently spatial resolution, the latter study explored network dynamics at an unacceptably low temporal resolution of only 12 layers. Here, we aimed at replicating and extending this study by applying multilayer modularity analyses (Muldoon & Bassett, 2016) to temporally highly resolved resting-state (rs-) fMRI.


Fast multiband rs-fMRI was acquired from 52 healthy young adults who completed three different resilience questionnaires. Associations between resilience and dynamic network properties (node flexibility, promiscuity, degree) were tested using FDR-corrected spearman correlations. To investigate the influence of different sampling schemes, we also downsampled the rs-fMRI data to better resemble the original study.


We observed no significant correlations for any of the combinations between the three brain measures and resilience questionnaires (all p > .06), neither for the original nor for down-sampled data.


Our results do not support the association between resilience and resting-state network dynamics postulated by Long et al. (2019) and highlight the need for testing the robustness of such effects by imposing methodological rigor and replication approaches.

P145 - Rapid and delayed stress effects on recognition of female and male faces

Lisa Pötzl, Oliver T. Wolf, Christian J. Merz

Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Deutschland


Stress and the stress hormone cortisol typically impair memory retrieval, especially for emotional words, scenes or objects. However, prior research almost exclusively focused on the rapid non-genomic cortisol effects. Additionally, findings for face stimuli are contradictory and rare, although very relevant for everyday life.


In this pre-registered study, we investigated the rapid and delayed stress effects on memory retrieval for faces. In a two-day design, 52 healthy men learned pictures of male and female faces with distinct emotional expressions on day 1. On day 2, participants underwent either a stress or a control condition. Memory for the faces was retrieved at two time points, once 25 minutes later (recall 1), at the peak of the cortisol increase for stressed participants (non-genomic effects), and 90 minutes later (recall 2), when cortisol concentrations were back to baseline (genomic effects).


During recall 1, stress enhanced memory retrieval for female faces selectively, whereas stress generally enhanced memory retrieval during recall 2. Altogether, we observed a beneficial rather than detrimental impact of stress on face recognition, in particular, non-genomic cortisol effects were restricted to female faces.


It remains to be determined if this beneficial stress effect relies on the interaction of the sex of the participant and the sex of the stimuli. Future research should also more closely look at the underlying mechanisms of how stress exactly influences face recognition, which is for example critically relevant for testimonies.

P146 - Reducing acute stress responses via post-hypnotic suggestions of safety

Liv Marta Hochhäuser Conde, Barbara Schmidt

Department of Clinical Psychology, Institute of Psychology, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Jena, Germany

Stress leads to physiological and psychological changes that can have a negative impact on health. While there are numerous methods to reduce chronic stress, there are only few to reduce acute stress. Therefore, we look for methods to build resilience against acute stress. An established protocol to evoke social stress is the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). We hypothesize that an acute stress response can be reduced by a post-hypnotic safety trigger.

In our planned study, we compare two groups, each consisting of 15 female and 15 male participants. All participants receive the same live induction of hypnosis with the implementation of a post-hypnotic safety trigger. The participants in the safety group use the safety trigger during the TSST while the control group uses a neutral trigger. To determine psychological changes we measure state anxiety, safety and rumination ratings. For post-stress physiological changes, besides pulse and heart rate variability, we also measure alpha-amylase and cortisol by repeated saliva samples, immune parameters (IL-1ß, IL-6 & CRP), and adrenaline in repeated blood plasma samples. For long-term effects, participants rate the effectiveness of the safety trigger one week later.

We expect that the post-hypnotic safety trigger reduces stress responses during the acute stress induction and one week later. In the safety group we expect higher subjective safety ratings, less rumination, lower state-anxiety ratings, cortisol, alpha-amylase, and heart rate increases. Additionally, we expect differences in immune parameters. If the hypotheses are confirmed, it would demonstrate that acute stress can be reduced with posthypnotic suggestions.

P147 - Stress effects on memory retrieval of aversive and appetitive counterconditioning

Katharina Beck, Shira Meir Drexler, Oliver T. Wolf, Christian J. Merz

Department of Cognitive Psychology, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Faculty of Psychology, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany

Introduction: Extinction training creates a second inhibitory memory trace and effectively reduces conditioned responding. However, acute stress inhibits the retrieval of extinction memories. Therefore, approaches counteracting detrimental stress effects are needed. Counterconditioning (CC), for instance, pairs a previously learned conditioned stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus of the opposite valence. The current pre-registered study investigates whether stress also decreases the retrieval of CC memories with aversive and appetitive consequences.

Methods: 52 healthy men were randomly assigned to either a control or stress group and took part in a two-day instrumental learning paradigm. During a first phase, participants learned that pressing specific buttons on a keyboard in response to the presentation of four neutral stimuli either leads to gaining or losing money. During a second phase, two stimuli reversed their contingencies (CC). One day later, participants were exposed to acute stress (i.e., socially evaluated cold-pressor test) or a control condition prior to the same task, which no longer included feedback about gains or losses.

Results: Preliminary results regarding day two suggest that acute stress improves the retrieval of CC memories on the first trial. Over the course of retrieval, reaction patterns became more alike between groups and stimuli. However, stressed participants tend to display more approach of gains, whereas control participants tend to show more avoidance of losses.

Discussion: Our findings indicate that stress effects on memory retrieval differ depending on the specific learning paradigm. These differences might be related to stress effects on decision-making and different motivational systems involved.

P148 - Stressreaktion und Leistung im Homeoffice mit und ohne angeschalteter Kamera.

Ursula Schade, Nicolas Rohleder

FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, Deutschland

In Zeiten der Pandemie müssen die meisten zuvor in Präsenz abgehaltenen Leistungserhebungen online im Homeoffice stattfinden. Diese Studie untersucht, ob ein Wortflüssigkeitstest, auf der Plattform Zoom durchgeführt, Effekte auf das subjektive Stressniveau und auf physiologische Stressmarker wie Cortisol und salivare Alpha Amylase (sAA) hat und ob sich bei eingeschalteter Kamera stärkere Stressantworten und/oder schwächere Leistung zeigen.

107 Studierende der Psychologie wurden zufällig den Bedingungen Kamera an und Kamera aus zugeordnet. Subjektiver Stress, Cortisol und sAA wurden jeweils eine Minute vor (T1) und eine (T2), 10 (T3) und 20 Minuten (T4) nach dem Wortflüssigkeitstest erfasst.

Es zeigte sich nach dem Leistungstest ein Anstieg des Cortisolspiegels im Speichel (logarithmiert; McortT1 = .90, SDcortT1 = .60, McortT2 = 1.10, SDcortT2 = .79; t(106) = 3.06, p = .003), des subjektiv empfundenen Stress (MsubjT1 = 3.21, SDsubjT1 = 1.78, MsubjT2 = 5.20, SDsubjT2 = 2.13, z = 7.2, p <.000) und der sAA (logarithmiert; MsAAT1 = 4,58 , SDsAAT1 = .70, MsAAT2 = 4.66, SDsAAT2 = .55; t(107) = 1,96, p = .027 einseitig). Bei eingeschalteter Kamera fanden sich keine stärken Stressantworten, hingegen fiel die Leistung bei eingeschalteter Kamera deutlich schwächer aus (MKamera0 = 51.29, SD Kamera0 = 10.89, M Kamera1 = 46.33, SD Kamera1 = 11.98; t(106) = 2.24, p = .027).

Ein online durchgeführter Leistungstests löste Stressreaktionen aus. Die Kamera wirkte sich ungünstig auf die Leistung aus. Möglicherweise fordert die Wahrnehmung des Kamerabildes notwendige Aufmerksamkeitsressourcen.

P149 - The effect of dorsal pulvinar inactivation on heart rate, heart rate variability and breathing

Kristin Kaduk1,2, Igor Kagan1, Melanie Wilke1,2

1Decision and Awareness Group, Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, German Primate Center, Göttingen, Germany; 2Institute for Cognitive Neurology, University Medical Center, Göttingen, Germany

Cardiac dysfunctions are a complication of stroke in humans and rely on structural and functional alterations in brain regions belonging to the ‘central autonomous network (CAN)’. Since disentangling the contribution of a specific brain region to cardiac activity is difficult in human patients, we here combined local inactivation with ECG in awake monkeys. We tested the causal contribution of the medial pulvinar (mPul) to cardiac activity. Medial pulvinar has reciprocal interconnections with major CAN regions (amygdala, insula, cingulate and PFC).

We reversibly inactivated neural activity of mPul in three rhesus monkeys using GABA-A agonist THIP (7 sessions) comparing them with control sessions (7 sessions). Each session consisted of interleaved blocks of rest and visual decision task. ECG and capnography were recorded to calculate the respiration rate, heart rate and its variability per block.

In one of three monkeys, mPul inactivation significantly slowed down the average heart rate for rest (~31 bpm) and task (~28 bpm), increased heart rate variability during task (~3 ms) and decreased the breathing rate during rest (~2 bpm). The other two monkeys did not show consistent heart or breathing rate changes, although the inactivation was effective as evidenced by task-related performance changes. The three monkeys differed in their baseline heart rate (CO: ~170 bpm, CU: ~110 bpm, MA: ~125 bpm). Monkey CO had the highest baseline heart rate showing the inactivation effect.

To summarize, while mPul has a causal effect on heart rate and its variability, there seem to be factors that determine such an effect.

P150 - The effects of oxytocin in females and males on trusting potential romantic partners

Bastian Schiller*1, Johanna Brustkern*1, Mirella Walker2, Alfons Hamm3, Markus Heinrichs2

1Laboratory for Biological and Personality Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany; 2Social Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Basel, Switzerland; 3Physiological and Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Institute of Psychology, University of Greifswald, Germany

A seminal study on the effects of oxytocin has demonstrated that it increases trust in males in interactions with anonymous, unknown interaction partners. We had not known whether oxytocin has similar effects in women and in interactions involving additional personal information about interaction partners (e.g., sex, faces). We therefore administered 24 IU intranasal oxytocin or placebo to 144 heterosexual, single participants of both sexes (male: N = 71; OT: N = 33, PL: N = 38; female: N = 73; OT: N = 36, PL: N = 37). 40 minutes later, participants played multiple rounds of a trust game and were confronted by the faces of different interaction partners of the opposite sex whose facial features had been manipulated on attractiveness and threat. Participants had to decide whether they wanted to transfer financial resources to their interaction partner (= trust behavior) or not (= distrust behavior); transfers would trigger an increase in the participant’s resources if the interaction partner sent half of the multiplied resources back. We observed that oxytocin, compared to placebo, increased trust behavior to a larger extent in men than in women. Furthermore, this sex difference was more pronounced when participants were interacting with unattractive and unthreatening interaction partners than with attractive and threatening interaction partners. Oxytocin thus seems to have sex-specific effects on trusting opposite-sex interaction partners in a trust game with real faces, leading to enhanced approach behavior towards potential romantic partners in males but not females.

P151 - The influence of language and perceived discrimination on the acute stress response in a Latin American sample

Felicitas Hauck1, Lucía Romero Gibu2, Silke Jansen2, Nicolas Rohleder1

1Institut für Psychologie, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Deutschland; 2Institut für Romanistik (Linguistik), Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Deutschland

Objective: Previous studies reported higher stress responses in association with experienced discrimination. This study focused on differences in cortisol and alpha-amylase (sAA) responses to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) in Latin Americans in Germany depending on conducting the test in their native language Spanish or German.

Method: Thirty participants (60 % female) between the age of 19 and 53 (mean = 30.10) from Latin America were tested (14 in Spanish, 16 in German). Participants gave six saliva samples and were randomized to a German or Spanish version of the TSST. Experienced discrimination was assessed using the Everyday Discrimination Scale.

Results: A significant difference between conditions was found for salivary cortisol concentrations (F(2.64,73.97) = 3.66, p < .05, ηp2 = .12), but not for sAA (F(5,140) = 0.56, p > .05, ηp2 = .02). A moderation analysis was run to determine whether the interaction between language and discrimination significantly predicts cortisol response. Results show that language significantly moderated the association between perceived discrimination and cortisol increase (ΔR² = 10.19%, F(1,26) = 4.34, p < .05, 95% CI[0.006, 0.861]).

Conclusion: Taken together, a stronger stress response to the TSST in the German condition compared to native language was found for cortisol but not for sAA. Cortisol increase was significantly affected by an interaction between language and perceived discrimination. Higher discrimination led to higher cortisol increase in the foreign language condition only. This could be a sign for protective mechanisms of native language against stress inducing risk factors such as discrimination.

P152 - The role of paternal overprotection in autonomic nervous system regulation: First evidence from a sample of healthy young students

Annika B. E. Benz1, Maria Meier1, Eva Unternaehrer1,2, Raphaela Gaertner1, Ulrike U. Bentele1, Bernadette F. Denk1, Stephanie J. Dimitroff1, Jens C. Pruessner1

1Universität Konstanz, Fachbereich Psychologie, Neuropsychologie, Deutschland; 2Universität Basel, Universitäre Psychiatrische Kliniken Basel (UPK), Klinik für Kinder und Jugendliche, Schweiz

Different forms of early life adversity (ELA), for example parental maltreatment or neglect, are associated with dysregulations of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and an increased risk for mental disorders later in life. In contrast to ELA, dispositional mindfulness (DM) might positively influence ANS regulation by fostering regenerative relaxation responses. Thus, aim of this study was to investigate DM as a potential buffer against effects of ELA on ANS regulation.

To investigate ANS reactivity in response to relaxation, we implemented a relaxation intervention with three quasi-randomized groups: a meditation video, a relaxation video and a control video (total N = 150 students; 51% female; age mean = 23.14 years, age range 18 – 49 years). High frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV), a vagally-mediated ANS component, was derived from heart rate recordings during baseline and video watching, in conjunction with self-report measures of DM and ELA (maternal and paternal care and overprotection). Effects of ELA and DM on changes in HF-HRV were examined using multilevel mixed models.

Paternal – but not maternal – overprotection predicted a lower HF-HRV across all experimental conditions, while a significant negative association with DM was only observed for maternal overprotection. We could not observe any interaction effects of ELA with DM to predict HF-HRV over time.

To date, the majority of psychological research on adverse parenting effects has emphasized the role of maternal behavior. Findings of this study now suggest that paternal overprotection reduces HF-HRV and hence might also play an important role in ANS regulation.

P153 - The role of slow wave and theta activity in stress adaptation after experimental trauma

Yasmine Azza1, Hong-Viet V. Ngo2, Anna Wick1, Fenja Rohrberg1, Lea-Sophie Strelow1, Ines Wilhelm1

1Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Translational Psychiatry Unit, University of Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany; 2Department of Psychology, University of Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany

Introduction: Intrusive memories developed after major stressors such as trauma are thought to rely on an insufficient memory integration of the event hampering its adaptive consolidation. Sleep plays an essential role in the processing and integration of memories. Here, we investigated (i) how an experimental trauma influences sleep architecture and EEG oscillatory activity and (ii) how intra-individual trauma-related changes of oscillatory activity may influence intrusion development.

Method: In a within-subject comparison, twenty-four female, healthy participants either watched a film-clip including traumatic contents or a neutral film-clip before bedtime. Brain activity during sleep was recorded using 64 channel high-density EEG and intrusive symptoms were evaluated for one week after trauma film exposure.

Results: Our findings show a prolonged sleep latency after the trauma film compared to the neutral film. No difference in any other general sleep parameters was found. Interestingly, participants showed a slower increase in slow wave activity (SWA; 0.5-4 Hz) after the trauma film compared to the neutral film. Further, increased theta activity (4-9 Hz) during REM sleep after the trauma film condition was associated with less intrusive reexperiencing during the following week.

Discussion: The results point out an important role of SWA and theta activity in stress adaption that is consistent with previous studies underlining the role of SWA in the integration of novel experiences and suggesting theta activity as driver for affective depotentiation.

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