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Poster A48

Influence of emotional information on cognitive flexibility

Poster Session A - Saturday, April 13, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Ms Vrushali Rao Gumnur1 (, Sandra A. Wiebe1; 1University of Alberta

Research has shown extensively that emotion can impact cognition. Relative to neutral stimuli, positive and negative stimuli tend to enhance and impair performance respectively. The goal of the current study was to test the effect of emotional stimuli on behavioural performance and electrophysiological activity on cognitive flexibility. This study addresses the influence of emotional valence and its interaction with task relevance, which is relatively unexplored in existing literature. Participants (N = 70, 17-25 years) completed a switching task, wherein they had to switch between two non-emotional tasks (age vs gender with task irrelevant emotion) or switch between a non-emotional task and an emotional task (age vs emotion expression with task relevant emotion). Emotional valence manipulated as positive, negative, or neutral, with positive and negative faces occurring in separate blocks. Preliminary analyses of behavioural data revealed that responses were slower on switch trials than repeat trials regardless of emotional valence or task relevance. We also found that participants responded faster to negative faces than neutral faces only when emotion was relevant to the task However, accuracy was lower when switching from the non-emotional to the emotional task (under task relevant conditions), regardless of valence. Our findings suggest that emotions when relevant to the task can indeed modulate task switching, and a possible speed-accuracy trade-off while switching. The analyses of the EEG data are still on-going.

Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Emotion-cognition interactions


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April 13–16  |  2024