Multiple aspects of the stress response under social evaluative threat: An electrophysiological investigation

James F. Cavanagh, John JB Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Affective traits and states may be important moderators of stress reactivity, providing insight into stress-related consequences on cognitive functioning. This study assessed cognitive control processes using response-related brain electrical activities-the error-related negativity (ERN) and error positivity (Pe)-that are sensitive to trait and state affect. To assess the role of cognitive control in affective and cortisol reactivity to social evaluative threat, 55 undergraduates first completed a standard task designed to elicit the ERN in order to index 'baseline' error monitoring. Participants then performed a difficult mathematical task designed to elicit the ERN under conditions of exposed failure and social evaluation. Baseline ERN amplitude predicted future cortisol reactivity to social evaluative threat in highly punishment-sensitive individuals (high self-reported Behavioral Inhibition System: Carver and White [1994. Behavioral inhibition, behavioral activation, and affective responses to impending reward and punishment: the BIS/BAS scales. J. Pers. Soc. Psych. 67, 319-333], although the presence of outliers suggest the need for replication. The math stress ERN amplitude was diminished in direct relationship to trait (punishment sensitivity) and state (fear and shame) negative affect. Individuals high in punishment sensitivity also showed specific deficits in task performance following error feedback under stress. High state affect related to a larger Pe amplitude. Results are interpreted as consequences of different motivational and affective reactivities under social evaluative threat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-53
Number of pages13
JournalPsychoneuroendocrinology
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2008

Fingerprint

Punishment
Hydrocortisone
Shame
Task Performance and Analysis
Reward
Fear
Brain
Inhibition (Psychology)

Keywords

  • Anterior cingulate
  • Cortisol
  • Emotion
  • ERN
  • Social evaluative threat
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Multiple aspects of the stress response under social evaluative threat : An electrophysiological investigation. / Cavanagh, James F.; Allen, John JB.

In: Psychoneuroendocrinology, Vol. 33, No. 1, 01.2008, p. 41-53.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{8ab2a87ff3e64e8d8f6994678c92b100,
title = "Multiple aspects of the stress response under social evaluative threat: An electrophysiological investigation",
abstract = "Affective traits and states may be important moderators of stress reactivity, providing insight into stress-related consequences on cognitive functioning. This study assessed cognitive control processes using response-related brain electrical activities-the error-related negativity (ERN) and error positivity (Pe)-that are sensitive to trait and state affect. To assess the role of cognitive control in affective and cortisol reactivity to social evaluative threat, 55 undergraduates first completed a standard task designed to elicit the ERN in order to index 'baseline' error monitoring. Participants then performed a difficult mathematical task designed to elicit the ERN under conditions of exposed failure and social evaluation. Baseline ERN amplitude predicted future cortisol reactivity to social evaluative threat in highly punishment-sensitive individuals (high self-reported Behavioral Inhibition System: Carver and White [1994. Behavioral inhibition, behavioral activation, and affective responses to impending reward and punishment: the BIS/BAS scales. J. Pers. Soc. Psych. 67, 319-333], although the presence of outliers suggest the need for replication. The math stress ERN amplitude was diminished in direct relationship to trait (punishment sensitivity) and state (fear and shame) negative affect. Individuals high in punishment sensitivity also showed specific deficits in task performance following error feedback under stress. High state affect related to a larger Pe amplitude. Results are interpreted as consequences of different motivational and affective reactivities under social evaluative threat.",
keywords = "Anterior cingulate, Cortisol, Emotion, ERN, Social evaluative threat, Stress",
author = "Cavanagh, {James F.} and Allen, {John JB}",
year = "2008",
month = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.psyneuen.2007.09.007",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "33",
pages = "41--53",
journal = "Psychoneuroendocrinology",
issn = "0306-4530",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Multiple aspects of the stress response under social evaluative threat

T2 - An electrophysiological investigation

AU - Cavanagh, James F.

AU - Allen, John JB

PY - 2008/1

Y1 - 2008/1

N2 - Affective traits and states may be important moderators of stress reactivity, providing insight into stress-related consequences on cognitive functioning. This study assessed cognitive control processes using response-related brain electrical activities-the error-related negativity (ERN) and error positivity (Pe)-that are sensitive to trait and state affect. To assess the role of cognitive control in affective and cortisol reactivity to social evaluative threat, 55 undergraduates first completed a standard task designed to elicit the ERN in order to index 'baseline' error monitoring. Participants then performed a difficult mathematical task designed to elicit the ERN under conditions of exposed failure and social evaluation. Baseline ERN amplitude predicted future cortisol reactivity to social evaluative threat in highly punishment-sensitive individuals (high self-reported Behavioral Inhibition System: Carver and White [1994. Behavioral inhibition, behavioral activation, and affective responses to impending reward and punishment: the BIS/BAS scales. J. Pers. Soc. Psych. 67, 319-333], although the presence of outliers suggest the need for replication. The math stress ERN amplitude was diminished in direct relationship to trait (punishment sensitivity) and state (fear and shame) negative affect. Individuals high in punishment sensitivity also showed specific deficits in task performance following error feedback under stress. High state affect related to a larger Pe amplitude. Results are interpreted as consequences of different motivational and affective reactivities under social evaluative threat.

AB - Affective traits and states may be important moderators of stress reactivity, providing insight into stress-related consequences on cognitive functioning. This study assessed cognitive control processes using response-related brain electrical activities-the error-related negativity (ERN) and error positivity (Pe)-that are sensitive to trait and state affect. To assess the role of cognitive control in affective and cortisol reactivity to social evaluative threat, 55 undergraduates first completed a standard task designed to elicit the ERN in order to index 'baseline' error monitoring. Participants then performed a difficult mathematical task designed to elicit the ERN under conditions of exposed failure and social evaluation. Baseline ERN amplitude predicted future cortisol reactivity to social evaluative threat in highly punishment-sensitive individuals (high self-reported Behavioral Inhibition System: Carver and White [1994. Behavioral inhibition, behavioral activation, and affective responses to impending reward and punishment: the BIS/BAS scales. J. Pers. Soc. Psych. 67, 319-333], although the presence of outliers suggest the need for replication. The math stress ERN amplitude was diminished in direct relationship to trait (punishment sensitivity) and state (fear and shame) negative affect. Individuals high in punishment sensitivity also showed specific deficits in task performance following error feedback under stress. High state affect related to a larger Pe amplitude. Results are interpreted as consequences of different motivational and affective reactivities under social evaluative threat.

KW - Anterior cingulate

KW - Cortisol

KW - Emotion

KW - ERN

KW - Social evaluative threat

KW - Stress

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=37549068952&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=37549068952&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2007.09.007

DO - 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2007.09.007

M3 - Article

C2 - 17964737

AN - SCOPUS:37549068952

VL - 33

SP - 41

EP - 53

JO - Psychoneuroendocrinology

JF - Psychoneuroendocrinology

SN - 0306-4530

IS - 1

ER -