English
 
User Manual Privacy Policy Disclaimer Contact us
  Advanced SearchBrowse

Item

ITEM ACTIONSEXPORT

Released

Journal Article

Specific reduction in cortisol stress reactivity after social but not attention-based mental training

MPS-Authors
/persons/resource/persons19628

Engert,  Veronika
Department Social Neuroscience, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons59556

Kok,  Bethany E.
Department Social Neuroscience, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons20000

Singer,  Tania
Department Social Neuroscience, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

Locator
There are no locators available
Fulltext (public)

Engert_2017.pdf
(Publisher version), 2MB

Supplementary Material (public)
There is no public supplementary material available
Citation

Engert, V., Kok, B. E., Papassotiriou, I., Chrousos, G. P., & Singer, T. (2017). Specific reduction in cortisol stress reactivity after social but not attention-based mental training. Science Advances, 3(10): e1700495. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1700495.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002E-1148-D
Abstract
sychosocial stress is a public health burden in modern societies. Chronic stress – induced disease processes are, in large part, mediated via the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the sympathetic- adrenal-medullary system. We asked whether the contemplative mental training of differen t practice types targeting attentional, socio-affective (for example, compassion), or socio-cognitive abilities (for example, perspective-taking) in the context of a 9-month longitudinal training study offers an effective means for psychosocial stress reduction. Using a multimethod approach including subjective, endocrine, autonomic, and immune markers and testing 313 participants in a standardized psychosoc ial laboratory stressor, we show that all three practice types markedly reduced self-reported stress reactivity in healthy participants. However, only the training of intersubjective skills via socio- affective and socio-cognitive routes attenuated the physiological stress response, specifically the secretion of the HPA axis end-product cortisol, by up to 51%. The assessed autonomic and innate immune markers were not influenced by any practice type. Mental training focused on present-moment attention and interoceptive awareness as im- plemented in many mindfulness-based intervention programs was thus limited to stress reduction on the level of self-report. However, its effectivenes s was equal to that of intersubjective practice types in boosting the association between subjective and endocrine stress markers. Our results reveal a broadly accessible low-cost approach to acquiring psychosocial stress resilience. Short daily intersubjective practice may be a promising method for mini- mizing the incidence of chronic social stress – related disease, thereby reducing individual suffering and relieving a substantial financial burden on society.