Research Paper Volume 13, Issue 16 pp 19996—20015

Stress-induced aberrations in sensory processing predict worse cognitive outcomes in healthy aging adults

Life and biological stress differentially predict gamma oscillatory responses. (Top Panel): Multiple regressions of life stress (i.e., allostatic load, left), biological stress (i.e., relative age acceleration, middle) and their interaction (i.e., cumulative stress, right) on the gating of gamma activity in the primary somatosensory cortex were conducted. Raincloud plots (combined box plot, histogram distribution and individual scattered data points) denote somatosensory outcome metrics at low and high levels of each stressor (i.e., ±0.5 SDs). Life, biological and cumulative stress were all significant predictors of gating ratios, such that increased stress was associated with higher gating ratios, indicative of worse suppression of redundant sensory input. (Bottom Panel): Follow-up regressions of life and biological stress on neural response to stimulation 1 (darker color) and 2 (lighter color) in the paired-pulse paradigm revealed differential modulation of stimulation response based on stressor type. Allostatic load was significantly predictive of oscillatory responses to the first stimulation, such that higher levels of life stress led to reduced neural response to the first stimulation in the pair. In contrast, relative age acceleration was predictive of the oscillatory response to the second stimulation, such that greater biological age led to less attenuated response power to the second stimulation. All axes are fixed for each graph per row. *p

Figure 5. Life and biological stress differentially predict gamma oscillatory responses. (Top Panel): Multiple regressions of life stress (i.e., allostatic load, left), biological stress (i.e., relative age acceleration, middle) and their interaction (i.e., cumulative stress, right) on the gating of gamma activity in the primary somatosensory cortex were conducted. Raincloud plots (combined box plot, histogram distribution and individual scattered data points) denote somatosensory outcome metrics at low and high levels of each stressor (i.e., ±0.5 SDs). Life, biological and cumulative stress were all significant predictors of gating ratios, such that increased stress was associated with higher gating ratios, indicative of worse suppression of redundant sensory input. (Bottom Panel): Follow-up regressions of life and biological stress on neural response to stimulation 1 (darker color) and 2 (lighter color) in the paired-pulse paradigm revealed differential modulation of stimulation response based on stressor type. Allostatic load was significantly predictive of oscillatory responses to the first stimulation, such that higher levels of life stress led to reduced neural response to the first stimulation in the pair. In contrast, relative age acceleration was predictive of the oscillatory response to the second stimulation, such that greater biological age led to less attenuated response power to the second stimulation. All axes are fixed for each graph per row. *p < .05.