The influence of approach-avoidance motivational orientation on conflict adaptation
SourceCognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 14, 2, (2014), pp. 548-560
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI SCP
Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience
SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being
To deal effectively with a continuously changing environment, our cognitive system adaptively regulates resource allocation. Earlier findings showed that an avoidance orientation (induced by arm extension), relative to an approach orientation (induced by arm flexion), enhanced sustained cognitive control. In avoidance conditions, performance on a cognitive control task was enhanced, as indicated by a reduced congruency effect, relative to approach conditions. Extending these findings, in the present behavioral studies we investigated dynamic adaptations in cognitive control-that is, conflict adaptation. We proposed that an avoidance state recruits more resources in response to conflicting signals, and thereby increases conflict adaptation. Conversely, in an approach state, conflict processing diminishes, which consequently weakens conflict adaptation. As predicted, approach versus avoidance arm movements affected both behavioral congruency effects and conflict adaptation: As compared to approach, avoidance movements elicited reduced congruency effects and increased conflict adaptation. These results are discussed in line with a possible underlying neuropsychological model.
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