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Where’s the Impairment: An Examination of Factors that Impact Sustained Attention Following a Stresso
Cognition and Emotion
  • Jonathan Banks, Nova Southeastern University
  • Jaime Tartar, Nova Southeastern University
  • M. Welhaf
Document Type
Publication Date
  • Alpha-amylase; Cortisol; Mind wandering; Stress; Sustained attention
Peer Reviewed

The impact of stress on cognitive functioning has been examined across multiple domains. However, few studies investigate both physical and psychological factors that impact cognitive performance. The current study examined the impact of a physical and psychosocial stressor on sustained attention and identified factors related to sustained attention, including cortisol, salivary alpha amylase (sAA) and mind wandering. A total of 53 participants completed either the socially evaluated cold pressor task or a control task followed by the sustained attention to response task with mind wandering measures. Participants also provided saliva samples following the attention task. Results indicate the stressor task did not impact mind wandering or sustained attention but increased cortisol and sAA. Mind wandering was negatively related to sustained attention and mediated the relationship between cortisol and sustained attention. The findings highlight the importance of examining multiple sources of stress-related cognitive impairments

Citation Information
Jonathan Banks, Jaime Tartar and M. Welhaf. "Where’s the Impairment: An Examination of Factors that Impact Sustained Attention Following a Stresso" Cognition and Emotion Vol. 28 (2014) p. 856 - 866 ISSN: 0269-9931
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