April 12, 2021

Investigation of the Stress and Sleep Physiology Correlates of Next-Day Memory for Details of a Social Stressor Testing Environment

Despite evidence which demonstrates that psychosocial stress interacts with sleep to modulate memory, research that has examined next-day memory for the stressful environment itself has not accounted for post-stressor sleep. Here, participants completed the Trier Social Stress Test or a matched control task with psychophysiological monitoring and stress hormone assays. After a 24-hour delay that included overnight polysomnographically-recorded sleep, memory for objects in the testing room was assessed by having participants draw the testing room from the previous day from memory. As expected, stressed participants mounted greater psychophysiological and stress hormone responses to the stressor than participants in the control condition. However, there was only weak evidence that stress reactivity and post-encoding sleep interacted to modulate memory for testing room details. Instead, NREM sleep physiology on the night following testing room encoding was positively associated with memory for testing room details, though this association occurred in the control, but not stressed, participants.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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