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The ability to interact with a constantly changing environment requires a balance between maintaining the currently relevant working memory content and being sensitive to potentially relevant new information that should be given priority access to working memory. Mesocortical dopamine projections to frontal brain areas modulate working memory maintenance(More)
Cognitive demands in response conflict paradigms trigger negative affect and avoidance behavior. However, not all response conflict studies show increases in physiological indices of emotional arousal, such as pupil diameter. In contrast to earlier null-results, this study shows for the first time that small (about 0.02 mm) conflict-related pupil dilation(More)
The late positive potential (LPP) is an event-related potential (ERP) component over visual cortical areas that is modulated by the emotional intensity of a stimulus. However, the functional significance of this neural modulation remains elusive. We conducted two experiments in which we studied the relation between LPP amplitude, subsequent perceptual(More)
People typically respond faster to a stimulus when it is accompanied by a task-irrelevant accessory stimulus presented in another perceptual modality. However, the mechanisms responsible for this accessory-stimulus effect are still poorly understood. We examined the effects of auditory accessory stimulation on the processing of visual stimuli using scalp(More)
Western society has an increasing proportion of older adults. Increasing age is associated with a general decrease in the control over task-relevant mental processes. In the present study we investigated the possibility that successful transfer of game-based cognitive improvements to untrained tasks in elderly people is modulated by preexisting(More)
The prevalence of age-related cognitive decline will increase due to graying of the global population. The goal of the present study was to test whether playing online cognitive training games can improve cognitive control (CC) in healthy older adults. Fifty-four older adults (age 60-77) played five different cognitive training games online for 30 min a day(More)
Negative affect in healthy populations regulates the appraisal of demanding situations, which tunes subsequent effort mobilization and adjustments in cognitive control. In the present study, we hypothesized that dysphoria in depressed individuals similarly modulates this adaptation, possibly through a neural mechanism involving serotonergic regulation. We(More)
It has been shown that negative affect causes attentional narrowing. According to Easterbrook's (1959) influential hypothesis this effect is driven by the withdrawal motivation inherent to negative emotions and might be related to increases in arousal. We investigated whether valence-unspecific increases in physiological arousal, as measured by pupil(More)
Determining the optimal design for surgical skills training is an ongoing research endeavor. In education literature, varied practice is listed as a positive intervention to improve acquisition of knowledge and motor skills. In the current study we tested the effectiveness of a varied practice intervention during laparoscopy training. Twenty-four trainees(More)
Playing videogames is a widely practiced leisure activity. Because of the time spent playing and the interactive content, game-guided learning could potentially supplement or replace more traditional mediums for learning and rehabilitation. There are many shades of gray between pure cognitive training, where the participant pursues the goal of a cognitive(More)