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Does overloading cognitive resources mimic the impact of anxiety on temporal cognition?

Sarigiannidis, I; Kirk, PA; Roiser, JP; Robinson, OJ; (2020) Does overloading cognitive resources mimic the impact of anxiety on temporal cognition? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 10.1037/xlm0000845. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Anxiety alters how we perceive the world and can alter aspects of cognitive performance. Prominent theories of anxiety suggest that the effect of anxiety on cognition is due to anxious thoughts "overloading" limited cognitive resources, competing with other processes. If this is so, then a cognitive load manipulation should impact performance of a task in the same way as induced anxiety. Thus, we examined the impact of a load manipulation on a time perception task that we have previously shown to be reliably impacted by anxiety. In contrast with our prediction, across 3 studies we found that time perception was insensitive to our load manipulation. Our results do not therefore support the idea that anxiety impacts temporal cognition by overloading limited cognitive resources, at least as induced by a commonly used load manipulation. Thus, anxiety might affect temporal cognition in a unique way, via an evolutionary-preserved defense survival system, as suggested by animal-inspired theories of anxiety, rather than competing for limited attentional resources. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

Type: Article
Title: Does overloading cognitive resources mimic the impact of anxiety on temporal cognition?
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1037/xlm0000845
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xlm0000845
Language: English
Additional information: This article has been published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Copyright for this article is retained by the author(s). Author(s) grant(s) the American Psychological Association the exclusive right to publish the article and identify itself as the original publisher.
Keywords: time perception, attention, working memory load, anxiety, temporal bisection
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 > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10097603
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