EEG correlates of neutral working memory training induce attentional control improvements in test anxiety.

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Date: Oct. 2022
From: Biological Psychology(Vol. 174)
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Document Type: Report; Brief article
Length: 320 words

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Abstract :

Keywords Test anxiety; Neutral working memory training; Attentional control; EEG Highlights * High test anxiety (HTA) individuals exhibit attentional control deficits. * The effect of neutral working memory training for HTA individuals is rather limited. * Training improved neurophysiological correlates while performing the Go/Nogo task. * Training could not improve Flanker task performance in HTA individuals. Abstract Attentional control theory states that high test anxious (HTA) individuals suffer from impaired attentional control. However, through working memory training it may be possible to improve such individuals' attentional control ability. This study investigated whether 20 days of working memory training (with emotionally neutral stimuli) does result in improved HTA individuals' attentional control ability. Pre- and post-outcomes of attentional control were measured using Flanker and Go/Nogo experimental tasks in a test-related stress situation, and EEG data were also collected. Results only showed a significant decrease in Nogo alpha power in HTA individuals after neutral working memory training (i.e., post-outcome versus pre-outcome). However, we failed to provide evidence for beneficial transfer effects of neutral working memory training on enhanced task performance in both the Flanker and the Go/Nogo tasks. So, the present study demonstrates that neutral working memory training is clearly associated with important neurophysiological correlates while performing the Go/Nogo task, but the transfer effect is rather limited. Author Affiliation: (a) Department of Psychology, Suzhou University of Science and Technology, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China (b) Department of Psychology, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China (c) State Key Laboratory of Media Convergence Production Technology and Systems, Beijing, China (d) Institute for Management Research, Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands (e) Department of Work, Organisation and Society, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium * Correspondence to: Department of Psychology, Nanjing University, Room 418, Heren Hall, 163 Xianlin Avenue, Nanjing 210023, China. Article History: Received 30 January 2022; Revised 17 July 2022; Accepted 7 August 2022 (footnote)1 ORCID ID: 0000-0001-7035-7097. Byline: Hua Wei (a,b), Alain De Beuckelaer (d,e), Renlai Zhou [] (b,c,1,*)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A721718541