Chronic stress and executive functioning – a longitudinal perspective

Following studies of acute stress effects on cognitive control functions in the first funding period, project B5 will now turn to the investigation of chronic stress impact on inhibition, updating, and shifting. A prospective cohort study with a representative adult sample (N=500) will be conducted for concurrent and repeated assessments of cognitive performance, stress-related self-report measures, and biological markers of chronic stress, respectively. Over a period of three years all participants will be investigated in two study waves annually. While cognitive control functioning will be assessed using a cognitive task battery, stress ratings will be obtained by self-report. In addition, hair samples collected biannually will be analyzed for various endocrine stress markers by liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LCMS/MS). The project aims at investigating the unity and/or diversity of changes in cognitive control functions due to chronic stress, as well as to unveil the effect dynamics between subjective (i.e., self-reported) and objective biological markers of environmental challenge on different cognitive control functions over a prolonged period of time.

Project Members

Principal Investigators