On the interaction between sad mood and cognitive control: The effect of induced sadness on electrophysiological modulations underlying Stroop conflict processing
Liddle, Peter F.
Nixon, Neil L.
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The present study employed high-density ERPs to examine the effect of induced sad mood on the spatiotemporal correlates of conflict monitoring and resolution in a colour-word Stroop interference task. Neuroimaging evidence and dipole modelling implicates the involvement of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) regions in conflict-laden interference control. On the basis that these structures have been found to mediate emotion-cognition interactions in negative mood states, it was predicted that Stroop-related cognitive control, which relies heavily on anterior neural sources, would be affected by effective sad mood provocation. Healthy participants (N=14) were induced into transient sadness via use of autobiographical sad scripts, a well-validated mood induction technique (Liotti et al., 2000a, 2002). In accord with previous research, interference effects were shown at both baseline and sad states while Stroop conflict was associated with early (N450) and late (Late Positive Component; LPC) electrophysiological modulations at both states. Sad mood induction attenuated the N450 effect in line with our expectation that it would be susceptible to modulation by mood, given its purported anterior limbic source. The LPC effect was displayed at the typical posterior lateral sites but, as predicted, was not affected by sad mood. However, frontocentral LPC activity-presumably generated from an additional anterior limbic source-was affected at sad state, hinting a role in conflict monitoring. Although the neurophysiological underpinnings of interference control are yet to be clarified, this study provided further insight into emotion-cognition interactions as indexed by Stroop conflict-laden processing.Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.