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Stress can rob you of your decision making abilities and affect your capacity to formulate plans- Technology News, Firstpost

Taking too much stress can cause depression and other mental health complications, it can also affect our decision making abilities. A recent study has found that stress can hinder our ability to develop informed plans to prevent us from being able to make decisions based on memories.

According to Stanford psychologist Anthony Wagner, the paper’s senior author, “we remember not just to bring memory back to the past, but to plan ourselves, to pursue ourselves.”

“Stress can rob you of your ability to draw on the cognitive systems inherent in memory and goal-directed behavior that enable you to solve problems more quickly, more efficiently, and more effectively,” he said.

 Stress can rob your ability to make decisions and affect your ability to formulate plans

Too much stress can affect a person’s decision-making ability.

The study, led by Stanford University researchers, was published in the journal Current biology.

Combined with previous work by Wagner’s Memory Lab and others, these findings can have broad implications for understanding how different people plan for the future – and the lack of stress makes some people think more. Can give more neurologically-based opportunities.

Lucy Stern is professor of social sciences at Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences, “It is a form of neutrosative privilege that is not emphasized by people who may over-treat their memory systems.”

“And we can really fail to appreciate that some individuals cannot behave effectively or efficiently because they are dealing with something, such as health or economic stress, that reduces that privilege . “

The researchers conducted experiments where they monitored participants’ behavior and brain activity – via MRIs – as they navigated through virtual cities. After participants became very familiar winding routes in a dozen towns, they were abandoned on one of the missed routes and asked to navigate to a target location.

To test the effects of stress, researchers warned some participants that they might receive a mild electric shock, unrelated to their performance, during their virtual rambles.

Participants who did not have to worry about being shocked randomly were prepared to imagine and take shortcuts to the novel based on memories derived from earlier journeys, while stressed participants had a tendency to fall backward, habitual routes.

Before starting their trek, the contestants were placed at their starting place. Brain scans of this period showed that stressed individuals were less likely than their counterparts to activate the hippocampus – a brain structure that would have been active if they had been reviewing previous visits.

Their frontal – parietal lobe network also had low activity, which allows us to bring neural processes in line with our current goals. Previous work by researchers found that stress disrupts this nervous system, making it harder to retrieve and use memories.

The researchers believe that their new study is the first to show how hippocampal-frontal lobe network disruption takes memory replay offline during planning sessions due to stress.

“Our mind is pushed into such a more low-level thought-process state, and this coincides with this planned behavior,” said Thackery Brown, who was a postdoctoral scholar in the memory lab. Author of the paper.

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