+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Effects of psychosocial stress on the goal-directed and habit memory systems during learning and later execution

Effects of psychosocial stress on the goal-directed and habit memory systems during learning and later execution

Psychoneuroendocrinology 77: 275-283

Instrumental learning occurs through both goal-directed and habit memory systems, which are supported by anatomically distinct brain systems. Interestingly, stress may promote habits at the expense of goal-directed performance, since stress before training in an instrumental task was found to cause individuals to carry on with the learned association in spite of a devalued outcome. These findings nevertheless left pending questions, and it has been difficult to determine which system is primarily affected by stress (an improved habit system, an impaired goal-directed system, or both) and at what point the stress acts (at the moment of learning by making more resistant habits, or after devaluation by making individuals less sensitive to change in the outcome value). The present study (N=72 participants, 63 males and 9 females) aimed to answer these questions with (i) an instrumental task that dissociates the two memory systems and (ii) three conditions of psychosocial stress exposure (Trier Social Stress Test): stress induced before learning, before devaluation, and not induced for the control group. The study confirms that exposure to psychosocial stress leads to habitual performance. Moreover, it provides new insight into this effect by locating its origin as an impairment in the capacity of the goal-directed system rather than a reinforcement in habit learning. These results are discussed in light of recent neurobiological models of stress and memory.

Please choose payment method:

(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 059663254

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 28131067

DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2016.12.008

Related references

Involvement of the basal ganglia and dopamine system in learning and execution of goal-directed behavior. Nagatsu, Toshiharu , Reprint Author, Nabeshima, Toshitaka, McCarty, Richard, Goldstein, David S Catecholamine research: From molecular insights to clinical medicine: 377-380, 2002

Goal-Directed and Habit-Like Modulations of Stimulus Processing during Reinforcement Learning. Journal of Neuroscience 37(11): 3009-3017, 2017

Disruption in the balance between goal-directed behavior and habit learning in obsessive-compulsive disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry 168(7): 718-726, 2011

The relative contribution of goal-directed and habit systems to psychiatric disorders. Psychiatria Danubina 29(Suppl 3): 203-213, 2017

Post-learning stress reduces the misinformation effect: effects of psychosocial stress on memory updating. Psychoneuroendocrinology 102: 164-171, 2019

From Creatures of Habit to Goal-Directed Learners: Tracking the Developmental Emergence of Model-Based Reinforcement Learning. Psychological Science 27(6): 848-858, 2016

Preventing the stress-induced shift from goal-directed to habit action with a β-adrenergic antagonist. Journal of Neuroscience 31(47): 17317-17325, 2011

Habit strength is predicted by activity dynamics in goal-directed brain systems during training. Neuroimage 165: 125-137, 2018

The effects of response priming on the planning and execution of goal-directed movements in the presence of a distracting stimulus. Acta Psychologica 119(2): 123-142, 2005

Dopaminergic effects on initiation and execution of goal directed voluntary postural movement in Parkinsons disease. Journal of Biomechanics 27(6): 737, 1994

Habit, Attitude, and Planned Behaviour: Is Habit an Empty Construct or an Interesting Case of Goal-directed Automaticity?. European Review of Social Psychology 10(1): 101-134, 1999

Goal direction orientation, generalized turning habit, and goal gradient as factors in maze learning in the rat. Journal of Comparative Psychology 17(2): 225-232, 1934

The stressed prefrontal cortex and goal-directed behaviour: acute psychosocial stress impairs the flexible implementation of task goals. Experimental Brain Research 216(3): 397-408, 2012

Stress and sex specific effects on different learning and memory systems in rats. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts 27(1): 1406, 2001

Stress-induced impairment in goal-directed instrumental behaviour is moderated by baseline working memory. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 158: 42-49, 2019