Research Highlights

Emotional Priming Effects on Executive Function

Emotional Priming Effects on Executive Function

We used fMRI to examine the effects of emotional priming on executive processing during a number Stroop task. During trials with less executive requirements (congruent), there was a greater aversive emotional attenuation effect in a network of regions including the inferior frontal gyrus, insula and cingulate gyrus. This attenuation effect was counteracted during trials with increased executive demand (incongruent), suggesting that while pre-activation of the emotional system may lead to automatic reduction of activity in multiple regions, requirements for executive function may override the aversive emotional attenuation effect. Furthermore, this override effect was found to be associated with faster reaction times during executive processing.

Citation: Hart, S.J., Green, S.R., Casp, M., & Belger, A. (2010). Emotional priming effects during Stroop task performance. Neuroimage (49) 2662-2670.