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BMC Psychol ; 10(1): 251, 2022 Nov 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36333780

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Emotional stimuli used as targets of working memory (WM) tasks can moderate age-related differences in WM performance, showing that aging is associated with reductions in negativity bias. This phenomenon is referred to as the positivity effect. However, there is little research on whether emotional distractors have a similar moderating effect. Moreover, the underlying neural mechanism of this effect has not been studied. In this study, we examined the behavioral and neurophysiological basis for age differences in resistance to emotional distractors within WM. METHODS: Older adults (n = 30, ages 60-74) and young adults (n = 35, ages 19-26) performed a 2-back task in which a digit was superimposed on a face with a happy, angry, or neutral expression as a distractor. Event-related potential (ERP) was simultaneously recorded to assess P2, N2, and later positive potential (LPP) amplitudes. RESULTS: Older adults were less accurate and slower than young adults on the WM task. Moreover, the results demonstrated a significant interaction between age and emotional valence on response accuracy, young adults' performance was worse when the distractor was neutral or positive than when it was negative, but there was no effect of the emotional valence of distractors on older adults' WM performance. ERP analyses revealed greater P2 amplitude in older adults than young adults, regardless of the emotional valence of distractors. However, older adults and young adults did not differ on N2 or LPP amplitude, and negative distractors elicited greater N2 than positive distractors in both age groups. CONCLUSIONS: The behavioral findings provided evidence of age-related reductions in negativity bias. Thus, the behavioral measures indicated a positivity effect in WM. However, the ERP results did not show this same interaction. These discrepant results raise questions about whether and to what extent older and young adults differ in controlling the effect of emotional distractors in WM.


Assuntos
Atenção , Memória de Curto Prazo , Adulto Jovem , Humanos , Idoso , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Adulto , Memória de Curto Prazo/fisiologia , Atenção/fisiologia , Emoções/fisiologia , Potenciais Evocados/fisiologia , Envelhecimento/psicologia
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