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Hydrocortisone decreases metacognitive efficiency independent of perceived stress

Gabriel Reyes, Anastassia Vivanco-Carlevari, Franco Medina, Carolina Manosalva, Vincent De Gardelle (), Jérôme Sackur and Jaime Silva
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Gabriel Reyes: Facultad de Psicología, Universidad del Desarrollo (UDD) [Chile]
Anastassia Vivanco-Carlevari: Facultad de Psicología, Universidad del Desarrollo (UDD) [Chile]
Franco Medina: Facultad de Psicología, Universidad del Desarrollo (UDD) [Chile]
Carolina Manosalva: Faculty of Sciences, Universidad Austral de Chile (UACh) [Chile]
Vincent De Gardelle: CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Jérôme Sackur: LSCP - Laboratoire de sciences cognitives et psycholinguistique - DEC - Département d'Etudes Cognitives - ENS Paris - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres, X-DEP-HSS - Département d'Humanités et Sciences Sociales de l'École polytechnique - X - École polytechnique
Jaime Silva: Facultad de Psicología, Universidad del Desarrollo (UDD) [Chile], Clinica Alemana de Santiago - Clinica Alemana de Santiago, MIDAP - Instituto Milenio para la Investigación en Depresión y Personalidad [Chile]

Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) from HAL

Abstract: It is well established that acute stress produces negative effects on high level cognitive functions. However, these effects could be due to the physiological components of the stress response (among which cortisol secretion is prominent), to its psychological concomitants (the thoughts generated by the stressor) or to any combination of those. Our study shows for the first time that the typical cortisol response to stress is sufficient to impair metacognition, that is the ability to monitor one's own performance in a task. In a pharmacological protocol, we administered either 20 mg hydrocortisone or placebo to 46 male participants, and measured their subjective perception of stress, their performance in a perceptual task, and their metacognitive ability. We found that hydrocortisone selectively impaired metacognitive ability, without affecting task performance or creating a subjective state of stress. In other words, the single physiological response of stress produces a net effect on metacognition. These results inform our basic understanding of the physiological bases of metacognition. They are also relevant for applied or clinical research about situations involving stress, anxiety, depression, or simply cortisol use.

Date: 2020-12
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02958758
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Published in Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2020, 10 (1), pp.14100. ⟨10.1038/s41598-020-71061-3⟩

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:hal:cesptp:hal-02958758

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-71061-3

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