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J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2010 Mar;32(3):225-30. doi: 10.1080/13803390902902458. Epub 2009 May 12.

Emotion and executive functioning: the effect of normal mood states on fluency tasks.

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  • 1University of Massachusetts, Department of Psychology, Tobin Hall, 135 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA 01003, USA. jocarval@psych.umass.edu


Induced positive affect (PA) can improve verbal fluency performance, and induced negative affect (NA) can increase design fluency performance (Bartolic, Basso, Schefft, Glauser, & Titanic-Schefft, 1999). Building on this, the current study investigated associations between everyday mood states and executive functions. Participants (N = 74, mean age = 51.19 years) completed verbal and design fluency tasks and a self-report affect task. PA was associated with better verbal fluency performance, although NA was not associated with design fluency. Variations in everyday PA may be associated with cognitive performance, whereas greater shifts in NA might be needed to establish associations with executive functioning.

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