Brain systems underlying attentional control and emotional distraction during working memory encoding

Ziaei, Maryam, Peira, Nathalie and Persson, Jonas (2014) Brain systems underlying attentional control and emotional distraction during working memory encoding. NeuroImage, 87 276-286. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.10.048

Author Ziaei, Maryam
Peira, Nathalie
Persson, Jonas
Title Brain systems underlying attentional control and emotional distraction during working memory encoding
Journal name NeuroImage   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1053-8119
Publication date 2014-02-15
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.10.048
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 87
Start page 276
End page 286
Total pages 11
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Subject 2808 Neurology
2805 Cognitive Neuroscience
Abstract Goal-directed behavior requires that cognitive operations can be protected from emotional distraction induced by task-irrelevant emotional stimuli. The brain processes involved in attending to relevant information while filtering out irrelevant information are still largely unknown. To investigate the neural and behavioral underpinnings of attending to task-relevant emotional stimuli while ignoring irrelevant stimuli, we used fMRI to assess brain responses during attentional instructed encoding within an emotional working memory (WM) paradigm. We showed that instructed attention to emotion during WM encoding resulted in enhanced performance, by means of increased memory performance and reduced reaction time, compared to passive viewing. A similar performance benefit was also demonstrated for recognition memory performance, although for positive pictures only. Functional MRI data revealed a network of regions involved in directed attention to emotional information for both positive and negative pictures that included medial and lateral prefrontal cortices, fusiform gyrus, insula, the parahippocampal gyrus, and the amygdala. Moreover, we demonstrate that regions in the striatum, and regions associated with the default-mode network were differentially activated for emotional distraction compared to neutral distraction. Activation in a sub-set of these regions was related to individual differences in WM and recognition memory performance, thus likely contributing to performing the task at an optimal level. The present results provide initial insights into the behavioral and neural consequences of instructed attention and emotional distraction during WM encoding.
Keyword Amygdala
Emotional distraction
Interference control
Selective attention
Working memory
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID 2007-1895
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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