The Influence of Acute Stress on Brain Dynamics during Task Switching Activities

Publication Type:
Journal Article
IEEE Access, 2017, 6 pp. 3249 - 3255
Issue Date:
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© 2013 IEEE. Task switching is a common method to investigate executive functions such as working memory and attention. This paper investigates the effect of acute stress on brain activity using task switching. Surprisingly few studies have been conducted in this area. There is behavioral and physiological evidence to indicate that acute stress makes the participants more tense which results in a better performance. In this current study, under stressful conditions, the participants gave quick responses with high accuracy. However, unexpected results were found in relation to salivary cortisol. Furthermore, the electroencephalogram results showed that acute stress was pronounced at the frontal and parietal midline cortex, especially on the theta, alpha, and gamma bands. One possible explanation for these results may be that the participants changed their strategy in relation to executive functions during stressful conditions by paying more attention which resulted in a higher working memory capacity which enhanced performance during the task switching.
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