Osaka,M. Yaoi,K., Minamoto,T.,& Osaka,N.


When do negative and positive emotions modulate working memory performance?


Scientific Reports





The present study investigated when emotion modulates working memory

from the perspective of neural activation. Using fMRI, we measured brain

activity during the encoding and retrieval phases of a reading span test

(RST) that used emotional contexts. The emotional RST required

participants to read sentences that elicited negative, neural or

positive emotional states while they were memorizing target words from

the sentences. Compared with the neutral RST, the negative RST activated

the right amygdala during the reading phase. Significant activation was

also found in the parahippocampal gyrus, albeit only after activation of

the amygdala became comparable to that in the neutral RST. In contrast,

the positive RST activated the substantia nigra during the reading phase

relative to the neutral RST. These findings suggest that negative and

positive emotions modulate working memory through distinctive neural

circuits. We also discuss possible relationships between emotional

modulation and working memory capacity.

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