Cognitive and Emotional Distraction on Working Memory

P.I. Alexandru Iordan

Distractions occur often in our daily lives and can affect our ability to remain focused on a goal-oriented task. For instance, receiving a distressing text message may interfere with one’s ability to remain focused on studying for an exam. The process known as working memory is critical for the maintenance of goal-oriented information, but the mechanisms of this phenomenon are still being researched. We aim to understand how the effects of distraction impact WM performance and furthermore, what are the underlying brain mechanisms responsible for this effect.

Additional Readings:
Dolcos, F., & McCarthy, G. (2006). Brain systems mediating cognitive interference by emotional
distraction. Journal of Neuroscience, 26(7), 2072–79.

Hakun, J. G., & Ravizza, S. M. (2016). Ventral fronto-parietal contributions to the disruption of visual working memory storage. NeuroImage, 124(Pt A), 783–93.