Event Title

How do neutral and threatening distracter words influence attention and working memory?

Mentor 1

Christine Larson

Mentor 2

Richard Ward

Start Date

16-4-2021 12:00 AM

Description

Prior evidence suggests that threatening distracter stimuli are inefficiently filtered from gaining access to working memory. However, it currently is unclear how threatening task-irrelevant words impact working memory storage, and how individual differences in trait anxiety and attentional control influence this process. In the current study, we examined filtering efficiency of threatening words using electroencephalography (EEG). Specifically, we examined the contralateral delay activity (CDA), an event-related potential (ERP), that indexes the quantity of information stored in working memory. We did not observe any differences in CDA filtering efficiency between neutral and threatening distracter words. In addition, trait anxiety and attentional control did not predict filtering efficiency for either distracter condition. Our results suggest that task-irrelevant threatening word stimuli do not differ compared to neutral word stimuli in terms of filtering efficiency, and that individual differences in trait anxiety and attentional control do not predict filtering efficiency of these distracters.

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Apr 16th, 12:00 AM

How do neutral and threatening distracter words influence attention and working memory?

Prior evidence suggests that threatening distracter stimuli are inefficiently filtered from gaining access to working memory. However, it currently is unclear how threatening task-irrelevant words impact working memory storage, and how individual differences in trait anxiety and attentional control influence this process. In the current study, we examined filtering efficiency of threatening words using electroencephalography (EEG). Specifically, we examined the contralateral delay activity (CDA), an event-related potential (ERP), that indexes the quantity of information stored in working memory. We did not observe any differences in CDA filtering efficiency between neutral and threatening distracter words. In addition, trait anxiety and attentional control did not predict filtering efficiency for either distracter condition. Our results suggest that task-irrelevant threatening word stimuli do not differ compared to neutral word stimuli in terms of filtering efficiency, and that individual differences in trait anxiety and attentional control do not predict filtering efficiency of these distracters.