ERIC Number: EJ1072257
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Stress Effects on the Hippocampus: A Critical Review
Kim, Eun Joo; Pellman, Blake; Kim, Jeansok J.
Learning & Memory, v22 n9 p411-416 Sep 2015
Uncontrollable stress has been recognized to influence the hippocampus at various levels of analysis. Behaviorally, human and animal studies have found that stress generally impairs various hippocampal-dependent memory tasks. Neurally, animal studies have revealed that stress alters ensuing synaptic plasticity and firing properties of hippocampal neurons. Structurally, human and animal studies have shown that stress changes neuronal morphology, suppresses neuronal proliferation, and reduces hippocampal volume. Since the inception of stress research nearly 80 years ago, much focus has been on the varying levels of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis neuroendocrine hormones, namely glucocorticoids, as mediators of the myriad stress effects on the hippocampus and as contributing factors to stress-associated psychopathologies such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, reports of glucocorticoid-produced alterations in hippocampal functioning vary widely across studies. This review provides a brief history of stress research, examines how the glucocorticoid hypothesis emerged and guides contemporary stress research, and considers alternative approaches to understanding the mechanisms underlying stress effects on hippocampal functioning.
Descriptors: Stress Variables, Brain Hemisphere Functions, Animals, Memory, Animal Behavior, Neurological Organization, Metabolism, Literature Reviews
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Information Analyses
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