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    Anxiety and apprehension in visual working memory performance: no change to capacity, but poorer distractor filtering

    Berggren, Nick (2020) Anxiety and apprehension in visual working memory performance: no change to capacity, but poorer distractor filtering. Anxiety, Stress & Coping 33 (3), pp. 299-310. ISSN 1061-5806.

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    Background and objectives: Individual differences in acute and chronic anxiety have been linked to changes in working memory ability, though evidence for differences in specifically visual working memory performance has been inconsistent. Design: The present study examined the role of both trait anxiety and induced feelings of apprehension on visual working memory performance. Methods: Participants completed a change detection task, memorising the orientations of rectangular bars presented either alone or among additional distractors, comparing this to a subsequent test display. Trait anxiety levels were measured by self-report questionnaire. To induce apprehension, participants completed some experimental blocks where loud aversive white noise could be presented at low probability. Results: Results showed that neither trait anxiety nor apprehension affected memory performance when only relevant objects were shown. However, memory performance was impaired when distractor objects were presented, and this effect was exacerbated under apprehension particularly for high trait anxious individuals. Conclusions: Results suggest that induced apprehension and trait anxiety have little influence on visual working memory capacity, instead primarily disrupting distractor filtering efficiency.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis, available online at the link above.
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): threat, anxiety, visual working memory, filtering efficiency, attentional control
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Nick Berggren
    Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2020 11:29
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:58


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