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Social exclusion affects working memory performance in young adolescent girls

Fuhrmann, D; Casey, CS; Speekenbrink, M; Blakemore, SJ; (2019) Social exclusion affects working memory performance in young adolescent girls. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience , 40 , Article 100718. 10.1016/j.dcn.2019.100718. Green open access

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Abstract

Adolescence has been proposed to be a sensitive period of social development, during which the social environment has a heightened effect on brain and behaviour. As such, negative social experiences, such as social exclusion, may have particularly detrimental effects on psychological well-being. However, little is known about how social exclusion affects cognitive performance during this time of life. Here, we compared the effects of exclusion between adolescence and adulthood. We recruited 98 females in three age groups: young adolescents (N = 36, aged 10.1–14.0), mid-adolescents (N = 35, aged 14.3–17.9) and adults (N = 27, aged 18.3–38.1). All age groups showed reductions in mood after exclusion, compared to inclusion, in a virtual ball-tossing game. Young adolescents also showed reduced verbal working memory accuracy following exclusion. There was no effect of exclusion on visuo-spatial working memory in any age group. These results suggest young adolescent girls’ verbal working memory accuracy was affected by a short, virtual social exclusion experience. This highlights the importance of the social environment in adolescence and underlines the need to consider age differences in response to exclusion in the design and timing of social exclusion interventions in schools.

Type: Article
Title: Social exclusion affects working memory performance in young adolescent girls
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.dcn.2019.100718
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2019.100718
Language: English
Additional information: © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Cyberball, Sensitive period, Adolescence, n-back, Visuo-spatial working memory, Mood
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10086570
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