Phasic affective signals by themselves do not regulate cognitive control

Bognar, M., Gyurkovics, M., van Steenbergen, H. and Aczel, B. (2023) Phasic affective signals by themselves do not regulate cognitive control. Cognition and Emotion, 37(4), pp. 650-665. (doi: 10.1080/02699931.2023.2191172) (PMID:37017095)

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Cognitive control is a set of mechanisms that help us process conflicting stimuli and maintain goal-relevant behaviour. According to the Affective Signalling Hypothesis, conflicting stimuli are aversive and thus elicit (negative) affect, moreover – to avoid aversive signals – affective and cognitive systems work together by increasing control and thus, drive conflict adaptation. Several studies have found that affective stimuli can indeed modulate conflict adaptation, however, there is currently no evidence that phasic affective states not triggered by conflict also trigger improved cognitive control. To investigate this possibility, we intermixed trials of a conflict task and trials involving the passive viewing of emotional words. We tested whether affective states induced by affective words in a given trial trigger improved cognitive control in a subsequent conflict trial. Applying Bayesian analysis, the results of four experiments supported the lack of adaptation to aversive signals, both in terms of valence and arousal. These results suggest that phasic affective states by themselves are not sufficient to elicit an increase in control.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This project [134918] has been implemented with the support provided by the Ministry of Innovation and Technology of Hungary from the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund, financed under the [FK_20] funding scheme.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gyurkovics, Dr Mate
Authors: Bognar, M., Gyurkovics, M., van Steenbergen, H., and Aczel, B.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Cognition and Emotion
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1464-0600
Published Online:05 April 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 The Author(s)
First Published:First published in Cognition and Emotion 37(4):650-665
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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