Postersession 1
Poster #: 130
Topic: Error signals
Wednesday, Sep 9, 2015
1st floor

Stronger autonomic stress responses are associated with better post-error adjustment in special police cadets

Zhuxi Yao1, Yi Yuan1, Tony Buchanan2, Kan Zhang1, Jianhui Wu1, & Liang Zhang1

1Key Laboratory of Behavioral Science, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
2Department of Psychology, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, United States

High stress jobs require both appropriate physiological regulation and behavioral adjustment to meet the demands of emergencies. Here, we investigated the relationship between the autonomic stress response and behavioral adjustment after errors in special police cadets. Sixty-eight healthy male special police cadets were randomly assigned to perform a first-time walking on an aerial rope bridge to induce stress responses, or a walking on a cushion on the ground serving as a control condition. Next, the participants completed a Go/No-go task to assess behavioral adjustment after false alarm responses. Heart rate measurements and subjective reports confirmed that stress responses were successfully elicited by the aerial rope bridge task in the stress group. The behavioral performance of the Go/No-go task between the two groups did not reach any significance. However, greater heart rate increases during the treatments were positively correlated with post-error slowing in the subsequent Go/No-go task for the stress group . No such correlation was found for the control group. These results suggest that special police cadets with stronger autonomic stress responses had better post-error behavioral adjustment.