Summary: In S. Moore & M. Oaksford (Eds.), Emotional Cognition: From Brain to Behaviour (pp. 245-287).
Amsterdam: John Benjamins. (2002).
The effects of positive affect and arousal on
working memory and executive attention
Neurobiology and computational models
F. Gregory Ashby, Vivian V. Valentin and And U. Turken
University of California at Santa Barbara / Stanford University
There is now overwhelming evidence that moderate fluctuations in feelings can
systematically affect cognitive processing (for reviews, see Ashby, Isen, &
Turken, 1999; Isen, 1993). For example, Isen and others have shown that mild
positive affect, of the sort that people could experience every day, improves
creative problem solving (e.g., Isen, Daubman, & Nowicki, 1987; Isen, Johnson,
Mertz, &Robinson, 1985), facilitates recallofneutraland positive material(Isen,
Shalker, Clark, & Karp, 1978; Nasby & Yando, 1982; Teasdale & Fogarty,
1979), and systematicallychanges strategies indecision-making tasks (Carnevale
& Isen, 1986; Isen & Geva, 1987; Isen & Means, 1983; Isen, Nygren, & Ashby,
1988; Isen, Rosenzweig, & Young, 1991).
Recently, Ashby et al. (1999) proposed a neuropsychological theory of many
of these results. Specifically, they assumed that some of the cognitive influences