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Brain Cogn. 2006 Feb;60(1):11-9. Epub 2005 Oct 10.

How positive affect modulates cognitive control: the costs and benefits of reduced maintenance capability.

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Dresden University of Technology, Germany.


Adaptive action in a constantly changing environment requires the ability to maintain intentions and goals over time and to flexibly switch between these goals in response to significant changes. argued that positive affect modulates these antagonistic control demands in favor of a more flexible but also more distractible behavior. In the present paper, the author will present further evidence for the affective modulation of cognitive control: mild positive affect reduced maintenance capability in a simple cuing paradigm (the AX Continuous Performance Task) as compared to negative and neutral affect. This reduced maintenance capability results in costs when a to be maintained goal has to be executed and conversely results in benefits when a to be maintained goal unexpectedly changes. The data will be discussed with respect to existing theories on positive affect, cognitive control, and dopamine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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