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<p>Early life stress (ELS) and psychological stress have been shown to interfere with memory and decision-making. Research in rodents suggests these impairments stem from disruption of the brain regions responsible for reward and value calculations. Major depression is associated with impairment of one of these same brain regions (nucleus accumbens) in humans undergoing neuroimaging. However, there is a diverse body of research that suggests people maintain the ability to selectively remember important information in a variety of conditions where memory is impaired. The current experiment sought to determine if depression would impair selectivity for remembering important information among late adolescents. 93 participants studied lists of words that ranged in value from 1 to 10 points while completing a tone-identification task during half of the lists; half underwent acute stress induction via the Trier Social Stress Test prior to the memory task. Participants also responded to validated self-report measures of ELS, socioeconomic status (SES), and depression. Depression and acute stress significantly impaired selectivity for value over and above the effects of ELS and SES.</p>
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