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Neuropsychobiology. 1996;33(4):173-81.

Neuroendocrine responses to emotional arousal in normal women.

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  • 1Centro Studi Farmacotossicodipendenze SERT, USL di Parma, Italia.


The neuroendocrine effects of many stressful challenges and experimentally induced emotional states have been investigated in humans, but few data are available concerning the psychobiological correlates of the emotional arousal induced by TV violence, fear and conflictual emotions. In this study we evaluated cardiovascular, hormonal and mood changes induced by the view of a violent or, in random order, neutral movie in 20 healthy young women. The emotional arousal was associated with a significant increase in heart rate, systolic blood pressure and significant changes in self-evaluated mood states. beta-Endorphin, adrenocorticotrophic hormone, epinephrine and growth hormone showed a significant increase during emotional arousal, with a significant interaction mood-time. Cortisol increased significantly during the violent movie (areas under curves analysis), but not significant interaction mood-time has been demonstrated. Prolactin and norepinephrine levels did not show a significant change during the emotional stimulus. Our data evidence the existence of neuroendocrine changes associated with the defence mechanism and aroused by movie violence and conflictual situations.

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