To investigate the possible influence of stimulation of the immune system on cognitive tasks, healthy volunteers were vaccinated against hepatitis B and tested over a 6 month-period in a simple reaction times and the Stroop task. In general, the "Stroop effect" demonstrates that both the name and meaning of a word are automatically processed even when voluntary attention is trying hard not to process them. Unlike placebo group, vaccinated subjects showed a persistent lack of the classical Stroop effect. These findings may be explained by a constraint satisfaction model of the Stroop task, assuming a selective weakening of the connection matrix, and suggest that immune-cognitive effects may occur, besides the well known immune-cognitive influences like those elicited by emotional stress.
- Immune-cognitive effects
- Stroop task
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health