Exploring the Interplay of Working Memory, Apathy, and Mood/Emotional Factors.

Exploring the Interplay of Working Memory, Apathy, and Mood/Emotional Factors.

Publication date: Jan 12, 2024

Previous investigations on healthy humans showed conflicting evidence regarding the impact of mood on working memory performance. A systematic investigation of how mood affects apathy levels in healthy participants is currently missing. We administered a visuospatial (VS) and a numerical (N) n-back task to a sample of 120 healthy individuals. In these participants, using a series of questionnaires, we also evaluated apathy, mood, working memory, perceived stress, PTSD symptoms caused by the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, and general psychiatric symptoms. Successively, we investigated their performance in the n-back task as a function of scores to these questionnaires. Participants performed better in the N block than in the VS one. Their accuracy decreased as a function of the n-back difficulty. We reported no differences in working memory performance or apathy as a function of mood, stress, or PTSD symptoms. We found that phobic anxiety negatively predicted accuracy to the numerical n-back task and that subjects with greater anxiety and difficulty in regulating emotions also showed higher levels of withdrawal from the task. The study’s results suggest that while mood did not significantly affect working memory performance, strong associations were found between WMQ scores and working memory capabilities.

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Concepts Keywords
Conflicting apathy
Covid executive function
Healthy mood
Pandemic working memory


Type Source Name
disease MESH Apathy
disease MESH PTSD
disease MESH COVID-19 pandemic
drug DRUGBANK Tropicamide
drug DRUGBANK Coenzyme M
disease IDO process
disease MESH mood disorders
disease MESH Psychological stress
disease IDO quality
drug DRUGBANK Ranitidine
drug DRUGBANK Cysteamine
disease VO storage
disease VO Rho
disease MESH cognitive impairment
disease VO report
disease MESH emergency
drug DRUGBANK Aspartame
disease IDO symptom
disease VO ANOVA
disease VO time
disease IDO algorithm

Original Article

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