Project Title

Stress-Related Hormonal Assays for Fear-Potentiated Startle Study

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Psychological Science

Faculty Sponsor Name

Ebony Glover

Additional Faculty

Sharon Pearcey, WCHHS - Nursing, spearcey@kennesaw.edu Anna Rosenhauer, arosenha@kennesaw.edu Doreen Wagner, dwagne18@kennesaw.edu

Abstract (300 words maximum)

The goal of this study is to identify factors associated with emotion dysregulation . This research aims to understand whether and how psychophysiological and biological factors modulate fear learning and memory in women who are and are not using hormonal contraceptives and men. The project uses a fear conditioning model using the startle reflex to identify emotion dysregulation. Our role in this project is to run assays and analyze the saliva samples collected to determine levels of hormones of interest, such as cortisol and DHEA-S levels. Other assays that will be performed include Estrogen and Progesterone. DHEA-S, or dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate, and cortisol are both steroid hormones that have been found to have a solid connection to psychological conditions such as stress, anxiety, and fear. Fear-potentiated startle has been more prominent in individuals with a high cortisol/DHEA-S ratio. Fear-potentiated startle is also positively associated with cortisol and negatively associated with DHEA-S. We will detect and quantify the amount of DHEA-S in these samples using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

Disciplines

Cognitive Science | Development Studies | Medicine and Health Sciences | Psychology

Project Type

Poster

How will this be presented?

Yes, in person

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Stress-Related Hormonal Assays for Fear-Potentiated Startle Study

The goal of this study is to identify factors associated with emotion dysregulation . This research aims to understand whether and how psychophysiological and biological factors modulate fear learning and memory in women who are and are not using hormonal contraceptives and men. The project uses a fear conditioning model using the startle reflex to identify emotion dysregulation. Our role in this project is to run assays and analyze the saliva samples collected to determine levels of hormones of interest, such as cortisol and DHEA-S levels. Other assays that will be performed include Estrogen and Progesterone. DHEA-S, or dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate, and cortisol are both steroid hormones that have been found to have a solid connection to psychological conditions such as stress, anxiety, and fear. Fear-potentiated startle has been more prominent in individuals with a high cortisol/DHEA-S ratio. Fear-potentiated startle is also positively associated with cortisol and negatively associated with DHEA-S. We will detect and quantify the amount of DHEA-S in these samples using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

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