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New Light on the Stress Response

December 4, 2011

Neuroscientists long ago fingered two “stress” hormones — cortisol and noradrenaline — as playing key roles in the fight-or-flight stress response. Today, a study in Science helps confirm that noradrenaline, not cortisol, triggers the transition to a different level of attention.

“Many people thought cortisol would have an effect on the attention process in the early phase, but our study shows cortisol probably is not as important” as noradrenaline, says first author Erno Hermans, of the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour at Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center in Holland.

Read the articles Brain under Threat and Brain rapidly gears up for fight or flight under stress

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