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Preserved Proactive Control in Ageing: A Stroop Study With Emotional Faces vs. Words.

ABSTRACT: Previous studies regarding age-related changes in proactive control were inconclusive and the effects of emotion on proactive control in ageing are yet to be determined. Here, we assessed the role of task-relevant emotion on proactive control in younger and older adults. Proactive control was manipulated by varying the proportion of conflict trials in an emotional Stroop task. In Experiment 1, emotional target faces with congruent, incongruent or non-word distractor labels were used to assess proactive control in younger and older adults. To investigate whether the effects of emotion are consistent across different stimulus types, emotional target words with congruent, incongruent or obscured distractor faces were used in Experiment 2. Data from this study showed that older adults successfully deployed proactive control when needed and that task-relevant emotion affected cognitive control similarly in both age groups. It was also found that the effects of emotion on cognitive performance were qualitatively different for faces and words, with facilitating effects being observed for happy faces and for negative words. Overall, these results suggest that the effects of emotion and age on proactive control depend on the task at hand and the chosen stimulus set.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC6733973 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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