Differential Susceptibility to the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Working Memory, Empathy, and Perceived Stress: The Role of Cortisol and Resilience
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Author/sBaliyan, Shishir; Cimadevilla, José Manuel; Vidania, Silvia de; Pulopulos, Matías M.; Sandi, Carmen; [et al.]
There are important individual differences in adaptation and reactivity to stressful challenges. Being subjected to strict social confinement is a distressful psychological experience leading to reduced emotional well-being, but it is not known how it can affect the cognitive and empathic tendencies of different individuals. Cortisol, a key glucocorticoid in humans, is a strong modulator of brain function, behavior, and cognition, and the diurnal cortisol rhythm has been postulated to interact with environmental stressors to predict stress adaptation. The present study investigates in 45 young adults (21.09 years old, SD = 6.42) whether pre-pandemic diurnal cortisol indices, overall diurnal cortisol secretion (AUCg) and cortisol awakening response (CAR) can predict individuals’ differential susceptibility to the impact of strict social confinement during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on working memory, empathy, and perceived stress. We observed that, following long-t...