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The effects of hydrocortisone on facial emotion recognition and decision-making

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posted on 2023-08-04, 15:50 authored by Nilam M. Patel

When exposed to emotionally-arousing information, the stress system, or hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, releases the hormone cortisol, which binds to receptors in brain regions important for emotional processing and decision-making. Evidence exists that HPA-axis manipulation affects memory for emotional items, but not facial expression recognition. Few studies have been conducted on HPA-axis manipulation during decision-making under risk. This study aimed to understand these effects in healthy men and women by administering a high or low dose of hydrocortisone (synthetic cortisol) during one session and a placebo during another session prior to performing a computerized facial emotion recognition task, the Diagnostic Analysis of Nonverbal Accuracy 2, and a decision-making task, the Cambridge Gambling Task. Results indicate facial emotion recognition and decision-making performance was not significantly influenced by hydrocortisone infusion. However, interesting trends were noted for facial emotion recognition and decision-making under conditions of high physiological stress.

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American University

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English

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Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 49-05, page: 3373.; Adviser: Maria Gomez.; Thesis (M.A.)--American University, 2011.

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http://hdl.handle.net/1961/thesesdissertations:2905

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