Seven-year-olds completed a Posner cued attention task, under both neutral and affectively charged conditions. Compared to the traditional (affect-neutral) Posner task, performance in the affective Posner task was marked by dramatic decreases in reaction times (RTs), an increase in errors, an increased validity effect (difference in RTs to the cued vs. uncued trials), and increased electrocortical activity. Temperamentally shy children in the study differed from their non-shy peers within the affective Posner task only, exhibiting larger event-related potentials amplitudes and right electroencephalogram asymmetry. In addition, shy children preferentially attended to the negative cues presented during the task. These data reinforce the notion that the functional balance between cognition and affect is sensitive to both contextual and individual characteristics.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health