Early life stress (ELS) impacts emotional and cognitive competences. We aimed to investigate whether the effects of ELS on working memory (WM) performance depend on the valence of the stimuli.Methods:
Between January and October 2015, we recruited (N = 31) healthy subjects with (N = 15) and without (N = 16) ELS experiences. Participants performed a WM-task with emotional stimuli.Results:
Results show a trend towards decreased WM accuracy in subjects with ELS experiences (p = .06) with increased WM accuracy (p = .08) and an altered pattern of BOLD responses in the left posterior cingulate cortex (PCC)/precuneus (p < .001) and the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC) (p < .01) in response to negative stimuli.Limitations:
The small sample size and potential confounding factors should be considered when interpreting the results.Conclusion:
Our data suggests that negative valence influences cognitive performance and brain activity in subjects with ELS experiences.