Read by QxMD icon Read

Acute stress improves long-term reward maximization in decision-making under uncertainty

Kaileigh A Byrne, Astin C Cornwall, Darrell A Worthy
Brain and Cognition 2019 March 4
Acute stress influences reward-seeking tendencies and risky decision-making. However, it is unclear how acute stress influences decision-making in situations in which individuals must learn to either maximize long-term or immediate rewards from experience. Consequently, this study sought to investigate whether acute stress enhances salience of small, immediate or large, delayed rewards on decision-making under uncertainty. The Socially Evaluated Cold Pressor Task (SECPT) was used to induce acute stress. Participants in Experiment 1 (N = 50) were exposed to either the SECPT or a warm-water control condition and then completed a decision-making task in which participants needed to learn to forego immediate rewards in favor of larger delayed rewards. The results demonstrated that acute stress enhanced decisions that maximized long-term, large rewards over immediate, small rewards. Experiment 2 (N = 50) included an assessment of salivary cortisol. Results replicated the behavioral findings in Experiment 1 and demonstrated that the acute stress manipulation increased salivary cortisol, thus providing a potential physiological mechanism for these results. This work suggests that moderate acute stress can improve decision-making under uncertainty that depends on learning to maximize long-term rewards from experience.


You need to log in or sign up for an account to be able to comment.

No comments yet, be the first to post one!

Trending on Read

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"