Poster E21, Monday, March 27, 2:30 – 4:30 pm, Pacific Concourse
Individual differences in reactivity to reward partly account for variability in resilience to stress
Polina Zozulinsky1, Roee Admon1, Tomer Shechner1, Rachel Tomer1; 1University of Haifa, Israel
Some individuals are vulnerable to the deleterious effects of stress, while others appear more resilient and maintain healthy functioning in response to aversive experiences. Individuals also vary in their response to appetitive events. Although the reward system received less attention in the study of stress resilience, lower reactivity toward rewards and alterations within the reward circuitry had been observed among subjects suffering from stress-related disorders. Therefore, we hypothesized that individual differences in reactivity to reward may contribute to the variability in resilience to stress among healthy individuals. Thirty healthy adults (18 females, mean age=24) completed the Connor-Davidson resilience scale followed by the mental stress task (Tanida et al 2004), a self-report measure of reactivity to stress, which served as an additional measure of resilience.The probabilistic reward task (PRT, Pizzagalli et al 2005) was used to measure responsiveness to reward. We found that higher resilience scores were associated with lower levels of perceived stress at baseline and smaller elevation in subjective stress ratings following the mental stress manipulation (p=0.02). As predicted, higher resilience scores were associated with higher reward responsiveness as measured by the PRT(p=0.04). Finally, self-reported levels of perceived stress both at baseline and following the stress manipulation were negatively correlated with reward responsiveness (r=-.395, p=0.03; r=-.489, p=0.01 respectively). These results suggest that higher reactivity toward appetitive events may contribute to individual's resilience to stress.
Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Emotional responding