The Effects of Stress on Prospective Memory

Kottapalli Sirisha, Rani
2018 AGU International Journal of Research in Social Sciences & Humanities)   unpublished
Prospective memory (PM) refers to mnemonic processes, which are directed to the future. It has been subdivided into different stages of processing: the planning, retention, performance, and evaluation phase. Moreover, PM can be time-or event-based. It is well known that retrospective memory (RM) can be affected by stress as seen in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, data on the effects of stress on PM are rare. In this review, available behavioral studies of PM are
more » ... udies of PM are reviewed with respect to its vulnerability to stress. Based on the available data, we suggest that stress may have enhancing or disturbing effects on PM, depending on (a) the stressor characteristics, (b) whether PM is time-or event-based, and (c) which phase of processing is affected. Studies in healthy adults indicate rather an increase of PM in response to acute stress (average effect size of d= 10). In contrast, studies in PTSD patients found a deteriorating effect of the disorder on PM performance (average effect size of d.58). We discuss the putative clinical relevance of a better knowledge of the relationship between stress and PM for the diagnosis and therapy of PTSD.