Objective: Previous studies have identified relationships between measures of executive functioning, appetitive (or risk avoidance) motivation and electrophysiological measures of cognitive control. These studies include error detection paradigms, go-no tasks, or probability based reinforcement tasks to investigate these relationships. However, studies have not sought to elucidate differential engagement of cognitive control (i.e., executive functioning) versus affective control (i.e., appetitive motivation) by task specific demands. Method: Sixty-four undergraduate participants completed a neuropsychological test battery and personality measures prior to engaging in a series of tasks while undergoing electrophysiological recording. Tasks included a pattern learning game, a gambling game, and a task where participants were allowed to choose which task they played. Neurocognitive and personality measures were factor analyzed for the purposes of data reduction, yielding a three-model personality structure, and executive functioning factors of planning/set-shifting and prepotent response inhibition. Results: Behavioral results revealed greater selection of the cognitive task for female participants and gambling task for male participants. Multiple linear regression models predicting game choices from executive functioning and personality measure were able to account for 32% of the variance in game choices for female participants, F(3, 25) = 3.870, p = .021, η2 = .56 as well as 24% of the variance in game choices for male participants, F(3, 23) = 2.380, p = .096, η2 = .24. Regression models predicting electrophysiological responses from executive functioning and personality also identified gender specific patterns of relationships. Conclusion: Studies investigating neurocognitive and personality influences on cognitive control should attempt and specify relative cognitive engagement based on task demands, and investigate possible gender differences in task engagement.
Measures of Executive Functioning and Appetitive Motivation Predict Gender-Specific Cognitive versus Gambling Task Choices
J Highsmith, K Lehockey, E Watson, J Loveless, A Stephenson, D Everhart; C-27
Measures of Executive Functioning and Appetitive Motivation Predict Gender-Specific Cognitive versus Gambling Task Choices. Arch Clin Neuropsychol 2015; 30 (6): 573. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acv047.229
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