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The Interplay between Cognition and Worry

Lukosiunaite, Ieva LU (2017) PSYP01 20171
Department of Psychology
Abstract
An increasing amount of research findings is showing that higher engagement in cognitive tasks alleviates the interference of anxiety and worry on task performance as
compared to lower task engagement. Yet, it is still not clear which cognitive functions are mostly contributing to this relieving effect. To add to the current knowledge, the present
experimental work investigated the relations between task performance, patterns in pupil dilation and increased difficulty in tasks requiring, among others, cognitive maintenance and
updating functions in induced ‘worry’ and ‘no worry’ conditions. In addition, the present experiment explored if visual complexity level of stimuli is modulating these relations. Data
analyses of the response... (More)
An increasing amount of research findings is showing that higher engagement in cognitive tasks alleviates the interference of anxiety and worry on task performance as
compared to lower task engagement. Yet, it is still not clear which cognitive functions are mostly contributing to this relieving effect. To add to the current knowledge, the present
experimental work investigated the relations between task performance, patterns in pupil dilation and increased difficulty in tasks requiring, among others, cognitive maintenance and
updating functions in induced ‘worry’ and ‘no worry’ conditions. In addition, the present experiment explored if visual complexity level of stimuli is modulating these relations. Data
analyses of the response speed, proportion of correct answers and pupillary baseline measures revealed statistically significant three-way interactions between the condition (‘worry’, ‘no
worry’), visual complexity (low, high), and task (n-back, reference-back). The results showed lower performance measures in the ‘worry’ condition than in the ‘no worry’ condition in an
easier n-back task, but this disadvantage was eliminated with increased task difficulty. Results of the reference-back task revealed that increased period of mental object
maintenance may be sufficient to shield from disadvantages in the performance efficiency in the ‘worry’ condition. The results also showed that increased visual complexity of stimuli
interfered with the task performance more in the ‘worry’ condition than in the ‘no worry’ condition. Pupil dilation data showed higher baseline pupil sizes in the ‘no worry’ condition
linked with, among others, higher working memory capacity, as compared to smaller pupil sizes in the ‘worry’ condition. (Less)
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author
Lukosiunaite, Ieva LU
supervisor
organization
course
PSYP01 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
worry, working memory, task engagement, pupil dilation
language
English
id
8926678
date added to LUP
2017-10-03 14:15:17
date last changed
2018-01-29 09:27:35
@misc{8926678,
  abstract     = {An increasing amount of research findings is showing that higher engagement in cognitive tasks alleviates the interference of anxiety and worry on task performance as 
compared to lower task engagement. Yet, it is still not clear which cognitive functions are mostly contributing to this relieving effect. To add to the current knowledge, the present 
experimental work investigated the relations between task performance, patterns in pupil dilation and increased difficulty in tasks requiring, among others, cognitive maintenance and 
updating functions in induced ‘worry’ and ‘no worry’ conditions. In addition, the present experiment explored if visual complexity level of stimuli is modulating these relations. Data 
analyses of the response speed, proportion of correct answers and pupillary baseline measures revealed statistically significant three-way interactions between the condition (‘worry’, ‘no 
worry’), visual complexity (low, high), and task (n-back, reference-back). The results showed lower performance measures in the ‘worry’ condition than in the ‘no worry’ condition in an 
easier n-back task, but this disadvantage was eliminated with increased task difficulty. Results of the reference-back task revealed that increased period of mental object 
maintenance may be sufficient to shield from disadvantages in the performance efficiency in the ‘worry’ condition. The results also showed that increased visual complexity of stimuli 
interfered with the task performance more in the ‘worry’ condition than in the ‘no worry’ condition. Pupil dilation data showed higher baseline pupil sizes in the ‘no worry’ condition 
linked with, among others, higher working memory capacity, as compared to smaller pupil sizes in the ‘worry’ condition.},
  author       = {Lukosiunaite, Ieva},
  keyword      = {worry,working memory,task engagement,pupil dilation},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Interplay between Cognition and Worry},
  year         = {2017},
}