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Psychological Review 1999, Vol. 106, No. 3. 529-550

Summary: Psychological Review
1999, Vol. 106, No. 3. 529-550
Copyright 1999 by the American Psychological Association, Inc.
A Neuropsychological Theory of Positive Affect
and Its Influence on Cognition
F. Gregory Ashby
University of California, Santa Barbara
Alice M. Isen
Cornell University
And U. Turken
University of California, Santa Barbara
Positive affect systematically influences performance on many cognitive tasks. A new neuropsycholog-
ical theory is proposed that accounts for many of these effects by assuming that positive affect is
associated with increased brain dopamine levels. The theory predicts or accounts for influences of
positive affect on olfaction, the consolidation of long-term (i.e., episodic) memories, working memory,
and creative problem solving. For example, the theory assumes that creative problem solving is
improved, in part, because increased dopamine release in the anterior cingulate improves cognitive
flexibility and facilitates the selection of cognitive perspective.
Feelings permeate people's daily lives. For example, many


Source: Ashby, F. Gregory - Department of Psychology, University of California at Santa Barbara


Collections: Biology and Medicine; Computer Technologies and Information Sciences