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  Acute stress alters probabilistic reversal learning in healthy male adults

Wieland, L., Ebrahimi, C., Katthagen, T., Panitz, M., Luettgau, L., Heinz, A., et al. (2023). Acute stress alters probabilistic reversal learning in healthy male adults. European Journal of Neuroscience, 57(5), 824-839. doi:10.1111/ejn.15916.

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 Creators:
Wieland, Lara1, Author
Ebrahimi, Claudia1, Author
Katthagen, Teresa1, Author
Panitz, Martin2, Author                 
Luettgau, Lennart3, Author
Heinz, Andreas1, Author
Schlagenhauf, Florian1, Author
Sjoerds, Zsuzsika4, Author
Affiliations:
1Department of Psychiatry and Neurosciences, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              
2Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634549              
3Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research, London, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              
4Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition, Leiden University, the Netherlands, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: TSST; Cognitive flexibility; Computational modeling; Decision-making
 Abstract: Behavioral adaptation is a fundamental cognitive ability, ensuring survival by allowing for flexible adjustment to changing environments. In laboratory settings, behavioral adaptation can be measured with reversal learning paradigms requiring agents to adjust reward learning to stimulus-action-outcome contingency changes. Stress is found to alter flexibility of reward learning, but effect directionality is mixed across studies. Here, we used model-based functional MRI (fMRI) in a within-subjects design to investigate the effect of acute psychosocial stress on flexible behavioral adaptation. Healthy male volunteers (n=28) did a reversal learning task during fMRI in two sessions, once after the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), a validated psychosocial stress induction method, and once after a control condition. Stress effects on choice behavior were investigated using multilevel generalized linear models and computational models describing different learning processes that potentially generated the data. Computational models were fitted using a hierarchical Bayesian approach, and model-derived reward prediction errors (RPE) were used as fMRI regressors. We found that acute psychosocial stress slightly increased correct response rates. Model comparison revealed that double-update learning with altered choice temperature under stress best explained the observed behavior. In the brain, model-derived RPEs were correlated with BOLD signals in striatum and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). Striatal RPE signals for win trials were stronger during stress compared to the control condition. Our study suggests that acute psychosocial stress could enhance reversal learning and RPE brain responses in healthy male participants, and provides a starting point to explore these effects further in a more diverse population.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2022-01-122022-07-262022-01-142023-01-192023-03
 Publication Status: Issued
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1111/ejn.15916
Other: epub 2023
PMID: 36656136
 Degree: -

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Project name : -
Grant ID : 2014/05563/ALW
Funding program : Rubicon award
Funding organization : Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)
Project name : -
Grant ID : SCHL 1969/5-1
Funding program : Heisenberg program
Funding organization : German Research Foundation (DFG)
Project name : -
Grant ID : SCHL 1969/2-2; SCHL1969/1-2 and 402170461
Funding program : -
Funding organization : German Research Foundation (DFG)
Project name : -
Grant ID : -
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Einstein Center for Neurosciences (ECN)
Project name : -
Grant ID : -
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Max Planck Society

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Title: European Journal of Neuroscience
  Other : Eur. J. Neurosci
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Oxford, UK : Published on behalf of the European Neuroscience Association by Oxford University Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 57 (5) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 824 - 839 Identifier: ISSN: 0953-816X
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925575988