See Inside April/May 2007

Fighting Stress with Stress Hormones

Cortisol may interfere with retrieving emotional memories.

Cortisol, a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands in times of stress, may help people cope when it is given before an unpleasant situation.

Most studies of cortisol have looked at the hormone's negative effects when chronic stress keeps its levels high. Psychologists Oliver T. Wolf and Serkan Het of Bielefeld University in Germany were interested in the short-term effects of cortisol on mood. They gave 22 young women 30 milligrams of cortisol—a fairly high dose. A control group of 22 women received a placebo.

This is only a preview. Get the rest of this article now!

Select an option below:

Customer Sign In

*You must have purchased this issue or have a qualifying subscription to access this content

It has been identified that the institution you are trying to access this article from has institutional site license access to Scientific American on
Click here to access this article in its entirety through site license access.

Rights & Permissions
Share this Article:


You must sign in or register as a member to submit a comment.
Scientific American Holiday Sale

Scientific American Mind Digital

Get 6 bi-monthly digital issues
+ 1yr of archive access for just $9.99

Hurry this offer ends soon! >


Email this Article


Next Article