Stress has been shown to have marked and divergent effects on learning and memory which involves specific brain regions, such as spatial and declarative memory involving the hippocampus, memory of emotional arousing experiences and fear involving the amygdala, and executive functions and fear extinction involving the prefrontal cortex or the PFC. Response to stress involves a coordinated activation of a constellation of physiological systems including the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and other modulatory neurotransmitters and signaling systems. This paper presents a concise review of the effects of stress and glucocorticoids on the glutamatergic and monoaminergic (including noradrenergic, dopaminergic, and serotonergic systems) neurotransmitter systems as well as endocannabinoid signaling. Because of the breadth of the scope of this topic, the review is limited to the effects of stress on these brain systems on the prefrontal cortex, and where relevant, the hippocampus and the amygdala.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Behavioral Neuroscience