Propranolol reduces emotional distraction in working memory: a partial mediating role of propranolol-induced cortisol increases?
ABSTRACT Noradrenalin modulates prefrontal function, such as working memory (WM), and is associated with enhanced distractibility, and enhanced memory for emotional events and stimuli. The beta-blocker propranolol has been shown to reduce memory for emotional stimuli. Herein we describe investigations aimed at assessing whether the administration of propranolol would reduce the interference by emotional distractions during WM performance. In a between-subjects design, 48 young, healthy men received 80 mg propranolol (n=25) or placebo (n=23), before performing an "emotional Sternberg task" with neutral and negatively arousing distracters. Compared to placebo, propranolol impaired WM at low load, however, it also reduced the interference by emotional distracters at high load. Furthermore, an explorative moderated-mediation analysis indicated that the observed propranolol effects on emotional distraction were partially mediated by cortisol. In future non-clinical and clinical memory studies using propranolol administration, cortisol elevations should be monitored to further investigate the potential mediating role of cortisol.
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ABSTRACT: Functional somatic symptoms signal distress and reflect an activation of the body's stress-regulation systems. Many different types of stressors – physical, emotional or both – may activate the body's stress-regulation systems. If stress-related disruptions are extreme or are not limited in time, functional somatic symptoms may emerge, signalling that the body remains in a state of activation and somatic distress. In this paper, we describe the development of therapeutic fact sheets, which are used as part of our multimodal, family-based, rehabilitation intervention for children and adolescents presenting with functional somatic symptoms. The fact sheets provide information about functional somatic symptoms – including their assessment and treatment – from a stress-system framework. They are used in the context of a family intervention to facilitate engagement with the family and to reduce parental anxiety and reactivity. Whilst the fact sheets were initially developed for parents, over time we found that the sheets were also useful in managing anxiety in the medical and school systems. A key goal of this article is to share this resource with other clinicians working with children/adolescents with functional somatic symptoms.09/2014; 35(3). DOI:10.1002/anzf.1059
Frontiers in Psychology 02/2015; 6:102. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00102 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Working memory is critically involved in ignoring emotional distraction while maintaining goal-directed behavior. Antagonistic interactions between brain regions implicated in emotion processing, e.g., amygdala, and brain regions involved in cognitive control, e.g., dorsolateral and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dlPFC, dmPFC), may play an important role in coping with emotional distraction. We previously reported prolonged reaction times associated with amygdala hyperreactivity during emotional distraction in interpersonally traumatized borderline personality disorder (BPD) patients compared to healthy controls (HC): Participants performed a working memory task, while neutral versus negative distractors (interpersonal scenes from the International Affective Picture System) were presented. Here, we re-analyzed data from this study using psychophysiological interaction analysis. The bilateral amygdala and bilateral dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) were defined as seed regions of interest. Whole-brain regression analyses with reaction times and self-reported increase of dissociation were performed. During emotional distraction, reduced amygdala connectivity with clusters in the left dorsolateral and ventrolateral PFC was observed in the whole group. Compared to HC, BPD patients showed a stronger coupling of both seeds with a cluster in the right dmPFC and stronger positive amygdala connectivity with bilateral (para)hippocampus. Patients further demonstrated stronger positive dACC connectivity with left posterior cingulate, insula, and frontoparietal regions during emotional distraction. Reaction times positively predicted amygdala connectivity with right dmPFC and (para)hippocampus, while dissociation positively predicted amygdala connectivity with right ACC during emotional distraction in patients. Our findings suggest increased attention to task-irrelevant (emotional) social information during a working memory task in interpersonally traumatized patients with BPD.Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 10/2014; 8:848. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00848 · 2.90 Impact Factor