Send to

Choose Destination
Psychophysiology. 2013 Aug;50(8):758-66. doi: 10.1111/psyp.12058. Epub 2013 May 24.

The imaging Maastricht Acute Stress Test (iMAST): a neuroimaging compatible psychophysiological stressor.

Author information

Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


Several protocols have been developed for inducing acute stress in laboratory settings. Still, effectively eliciting stress in a neuroimaging environment remains challenging. Here, we describe the evaluation of a combined physical and psychosocial stress protocol (n = 42). The imaging Maastricht Acute Stress Test (iMAST) consists of a 5-min preparation phase and a 10-min acute stress phase, with alternating trials of cold pressor stress generated through an advanced thermal stimulator and mental arithmetic challenges along with social-evaluative pressure (i.e., negative feedback). Results demonstrate that participants displayed meaningful subjective stress responses, as well as significant increases in salivary alpha-amylase and cortisol levels. Our data show that the iMAST may prove to be a potent alternative to existing imaging stress paradigms to explore poststress neuronal changes and brain determinants of resilience.


Cortisol; Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); Maastricht Acute Stress Test (MAST); Stress reactivity; Stress tasks

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center