The Influence of Stress on Human Memory: Differences among Subjected Timing of Acute Stress

  •  Mingming Lin    
  •  Yoshihiko Tanno    


In this study, we compared the differences in influence of three stress subjection timings on memory using words stimuli with three valences, positive, negative, and neutral. Sixty-three participants were divided into four conditions, pre-learning stress, on-learning stress, post-learning stress, and control condition. Participants in stress conditions were exposed to acute white noise stress. The results showed differences in the delayed recall memory performances among the three stress timing conditions, and definite valence influences. Compared to the non-stressed condition, impaired neutral delayed recall was observed in the post-learning stress condition. Pre- and on-learning stress showed lower positive memory compared to the other valences within their condition. Since memory performance was not significantly different from the control condition in either the pre-learning or on-learning stress timing conditions, learning after/or under stress did not seem to impair memory performance. Among the three stress timing conditions, post-learning stress seems to most affect human memory.

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