When affect supports cognitive control – a working memory perspective

Alina Kolańczyk


The paper delineates a study of executive functions (EFs), construed as procedural working memory (WM), from a motivational perspective. Since WM theories and motivation theories are both concerned with purposive activity, the role of implicit evaluations (affects) observed in goal pursuit can be anticipated to arise also in the context of cognitive control, e.g., during the performance of the Stroop task. The role of positive and negative affect in goal pursuit consists in controlling attention resources according to the goal and situational requirements. Positive affect serves to maintain goals and means in the scope of attention (EF1), whereas negative affect activates the inhibition of non-functional contents, e.g., distractors and irrelevant objects (resulting in attention disengagement; EF2). Adaptation to conflict proceeds via sequential triggering of negative and positive affect (EF3). Moreover, it was demonstrated that the focus on action or reflection changes the scope of contents subjected to implicit (affective) control. Therefore, I suggest that the motivational system, to a large extent, plays the role of the Central Executive. The paper opens a discussion and proposes studies on affective mechanisms of cognitive control
Author Alina Kolańczyk (Wydział Zamiejscowy w Sopocie)
Alina Kolańczyk,,
- Wydział Zamiejscowy w Sopocie
Journal seriesPolish Psychological Bulletin, ISSN 0079-2993, e-ISSN 1641-7844, (B 15 pkt)
Issue year2016
Publication size in sheets0.65
Keywords in Englishexecutive functions, affect, purposive activity, working memory
ASJC Classification3200 General Psychology
URL https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/ppb.2016.47.issue-1/ppb-2016-0004/ppb-2016-0004.xml
Languageen angielski
ppb-2016-0004.pdf 307.26 KB
Kolanczyk_2016_when_ośw.jpg 352.26 KB
Score (nominal)15
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2016 = 0.251
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