Social Neuroscience Advances
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Social Neuroscience Advances
Understanding ourselves and how we interact
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Chronic stress hurts your memory

Chronic stress hurts your memory | Social Neuroscience Advances |

Studies show that memory and stress are more connected than we once thought. There's nothing like stress to make your memory go a little spotty. A 2010 study found that chronic stress reduces spatial memory: the memory that helps you recall locations and relate objects.


University of Iowa researchers recently found a connection between the stress hormone cortisol and short-term memory loss in older rats. Their findings, published in the Journal of Neuroscience this week, showed that cortisol reduced synapses -- connections between neurons -- in the animals' pre-frontal cortex, the area of the brain that houses short-term memory.


But there's a difference between how your brain processes long-term job stress, for example, and the stress of getting into a car accident. Research suggests low levels of anxiety can affect your ability to recall memories; acute or high-anxiety situations, on the other hand, can actually reinforce the learning process.


Acute stress increases your brain's ability to encode and recall traumatic events, according to studies. These memories get stored in the part of the brain responsible for survival, and serve as a warning and defense mechanism against future trauma.


If the stress you're experiencing is ongoing, however, there can be devastating effects.


Read the accompanying slideshow: 6 ways to keep the brain young


Read the academic publications here:



Via Eric Chan Wei Chiang
Eric Chan Wei Chiang's curator insight, June 20, 2014 2:51 AM

Stress has a lot to do with how adversity is perceived. Stess helps us perform better to overcome adversity but over time optimism and impetus changes to depression. Indeed, scientists have also found a link between stress and depression

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Stress As Metaphor

Stress As Metaphor | Social Neuroscience Advances |

Modern neuroscience has strongly suggested that optimism might benefit physical health, and researchers are now confirming that psychoemotional stress might actually trigger physical inflammation in the body. Even back in 1934, they knew that the key to mastering life was the elimination of worries. F. Scott Fitzgerald set out to immunize his daughter Scottie against stress with an itemized list of the things in life to worry and not worry about. But what, exactly, is stress — and how did we come to think of it the way we do?

Via The Learning Factor
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