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Cardiovascular and cortisol reactivity and habituation to a virtual reality version of the Trier Social Stress Test: a pilot study
Lunds universitet.
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2010 (English)In: Psychoneuroendocrinology, ISSN 0306-4530, E-ISSN 1873-3360, Vol. 35, no 9, 1397-1403 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) is a widely used protocol to induce stress in laboratory settings. Briefly, in the TSST, the test participant is asked to hold a speech and to do an arithmetic task in front of an audience. In the present pilot study, we examined endocrine and autonomic reactivity and habituation to repeated stress provocations using a virtual reality (VR) version of TSST. The VR system was a CAVE™ system with three rear projected walls (4 m×3 m), and one floor projection. The system also included a head tracking system and passive stereoscopy. The virtual audience consisted of one woman, and two men. Ten healthy men, mean age 28.3 years (24-38 years), were confronted with the test twice (1 week between sessions), during which salivary cortisol, heart rate (HR), high frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV, parasympathetic activity), and T-wave amplitude (TWA, suggested to be related to sympathetic influence on myocardial performance) were assessed. Cortisol secretion showed a marked increase (88% vs. baseline) during the first stress provocation, but habituated in the second session. The magnitude of HR and TWA reactivity during stress provocation was approximately the same at both sessions, implying a stable increase in sympathetic activity. Heart rate showed a maximum increase of 40% at the first session, and 32% at the second. TWA showed a maximum decrease of 42% at the first session, and 39% at the second. The results resemble those obtained in prior studies using the real-life TSST. If these results can be replicated with larger samples, VR technology may be used as a simple and standardized tool for social stress induction in experimental settings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 35, no 9, 1397-1403 p.
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Physiology Psychology
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URN: urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-13075DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2010.04.003ISI: 000283019200014PubMedID: 20451329OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hkr-13075DiVA: diva2:754196
Available from: 2014-10-09 Created: 2014-10-09 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved

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Jönsson, Peter

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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