2 March 2022: The effects of stressor exposure on goal-directed control and decision-making

Candace Raio
Department of Psychiatry
NYU Grossman School of Medicine
New York University

The ability to effectively deploy goal-directed control during learning and decision-making is essential for adaptive behavior but is often compromised under stress. Using experimental paradigms that draw upon learning models and behavioral economics, I will present research that examines how stress changes the use of goal-directed control strategies and suggest that these changes may stem from the increased cognitive cost of exercising control. Further, I will show that the subjective cost of control can be measured using a novel economic decision-making approach and that these costs are highly sensitive to changes in affective state. Finally, I will argue that stress can also confer adaptive benefits for survival and demonstrate how this may emerge in decision contexts marked by uncertainty.

View a recording of this session here.