Encyclopedia of Geropsychology

2017 Edition
| Editors: Nancy A. Pachana

Effects of Stress on Memory, Relevance for Human Aging

  • Oliver T. WolfEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-082-7_172


Changes in stress vulnerability during aging: Focus on the brain; Effects of stress on memory: Relevance for human aging; HPA axis alterations during aging: Impact on cognition


Is aging associated with a more pronounced susceptibility to stress? Do older people respond differently to stress, and if so, how does this influence their cognitive performance? Might chronic stress be one of the reasons for the large interindividual variance observed in cognitive aging? The present chapter aims to answer these and related questions. A neuroendocrine perspective is taken, focusing on stress hormones and their action in the human brain. The response patterns of young people are described before age-related changes are discussed. Acute and chronic stress effects are then compared with each other, and finally, some possible lines of intervention are characterized.

Definition of Stress

A common definition is that stress occurs when a person perceives a challenge to his or her...

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© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cognitive PsychologyInstitute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Ruhr University BochumBochumGermany