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Zinchenko, Artyom; Chen, Siyi ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3090-6183 and Zhou, Renlai (May 2019): Affective modulation of executive control in early childhood. Evidence from ERPs and a Go/Nogo task. In: Biological Psychology, Vol. 144: pp. 54-63

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Modulation of adaptive executive control is particularly demanded in a pre- and early-school period. Therefore, in the present study, we investigated whether affective information can influence executive control in preschool children. We have recorded EEG during a Go/Nogo task where gender of a face served as a Go/Nogo cue and emotional expressions (positive, negative, neutral) were task irrelevant. Negative emotions modulated the magnitude of the conflict effect (Nogo vs. Go) in the N200 relative to neutral control, indicating enhanced cognitive control for negative emotions. Moreover, interpersonal characteristics (e.g., aggressive behavior) correlated with the emotion facilitated inhibitory control as indicated by N200. In addition, Go/Nogo conflict modulated neural responses in children already 100 ms after stimulus onset when paired with socially relevant emotional stimuli. These results show that emotions affect cognitive control in this age group in a valence specific manner.

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