Research suggests that worry precludes emotional processing as well as biases attentional processes. Although there is burgeoning evidence for the relationship between executive functioning and worry, more research in this area is needed. A recent theory suggests one mechanism for the negative effects of worry on neural indicators of attention may be working memory load, however few studies have examined this directly. The goal of the current study was to document the influence of both visual and verbal working memory load and worry on attention allocation during processing of emotional images in a cued image paradigm. It was hypothesized that working memory load will decrease attention allocation during processing of emotional images. This was tested among 38 participants using a modified S1-S2 paradigm. Results indicated that both the visual and verbal working memory tasks resulted in a reduction of attention allocation to the processing of images across stimulus types compared to the baseline task, although only for individuals low in worry. These data extend the literature by documenting decreased neural responding (i.e., LPP amplitude) to imagery both the visual and verbal working memory load, particularly among individuals low in worry.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Psychiatry Research - Neuroimaging|
|State||Published - 30 Mar 2017|
- Event-related potentials
- Late positive potential
- Threat processing
- Working memory