Cognitive and emotional benefits of emotional dual dimension n-back training based on an APP
收稿日期: 2017-10-23 网络出版日期: 2018-10-15
Received: 2017-10-23 Online: 2018-10-15
工作记忆训练的训练获益能够迁移至与工作记忆相关的各项基础认知活动中去。基于情绪认知控制与工作记忆之间的密切关联, 本研究设计了一种新型情绪性双维n-back训练, 并且验证利用手机APP搭载训练任务的适用性。结果表明：基于APP的短期双维n-back训练能够使个体在视空间工作记忆任务、活动记忆任务、数字转换任务、Stroop任务上的成绩产生相较控制组更大的进步, 表明训练可以提高个体工作记忆的容量和中央执行功能。然而, 基于不同情绪材料的训练(中性、负性、正性)在各类迁移上差异不大。短期训练无法迁移到情绪Stroop任务中, 即无法产生特异的情绪控制上的效益。双维n-back任务通道单一, 且搭载于手机APP, 拥有较为广阔的应用前景。但将情绪材料单纯地糅合进工作记忆任务中的价值与意义须被进一步考察。
工作记忆训练的训练获益能够迁移至与工作记忆相关的各项基础认知活动中去。基于情绪认知控制与工作记忆之间的密切关联, 本研究设计了一种新型情绪性双维n-back训练, 并且验证利用手机APP搭载训练任务的适用性。结果表明：基于APP的短期双维n-back训练能够使个体在视空间工作记忆任务、活动记忆任务、数字转换任务、Stroop任务上的成绩产生相较控制组更大的进步, 表明训练可以提高个体工作记忆的容量和中央执行功能。然而, 基于不同情绪材料的训练(中性、负性、正性)在各类迁移上差异不大。短期训练无法迁移到情绪Stroop任务中, 即无法产生特异的情绪控制上的效益。双维n-back任务通道单一, 且搭载于手机APP, 拥有较为广阔的应用前景。但将情绪材料单纯地糅合进工作记忆任务中的价值与意义须被进一步考察。
Audiovisual dual channel n-back training offers the ability to transfer to basic cognitive processes that are closely related to the working memory process. However, dual-channel training based on a computer is highly demanding for a training environment. Thus, it is not conducive to its application promotion. Moreover, emotional working memory training is developed to enhance the emotional control ability of individuals. Only negative material working memory training has been examined. Thus, the general problems of emotional working memory training have not been clarified. A new type of emotional dual dimension n-back training based on smartphone applications was designed in this study. The general applicability and emotional effects of emotion (both positive and negative) and neutral working memory training were examined through the design of a randomized controlled group. This study developed an app based on n-back task, which is a visual single-channel with two dimensions. A total of 66 healthy college students (34 males and 32 females) participated in the experiment and were randomly divided into control, negative training, neutral training, and positive training groups. All participants were trained with their smartphones. Participants in the training groups must remember the Chinese characters and the position of the Chinese characters in the 3*3 matrix and make two independent n-back tasks on the characters and the position. In the neutral, positive, and negative training groups, the valences of Chinese characters were neutral, positive, and negative, respectively. The participants in the control group completed the digital parity task in an interface similar to a training task. Before and after the training session, participants were asked to complete the visual-spatial working memory task, running memory task, Stroop task, digital shifting task, emotion Stroop task, and a profile of mood states. Short-term dual-dimension n-back training can make more progress on the visual space work memory task, running memory task, digital shifting task, and classic Stroop task than placebo training. These tasks test the working memory capacity, as well as the update, shift, and inhibit the function, and fully characterize the working memory of the whole picture. However, training based on different emotional materials did not vary greatly across the various types of transfer effects. Short-term training cannot transfer into the emotional Stroop task, which is unable to produce specific emotional control benefits. The dual-dimensional n-back training app can produce a favorable basic cognitive transfer. This indicates that the cognitive training app has a wide application prospect, and the dual-dimensional training paradigm is worthy of improved employment. For the invisible emotional benefits of the emotional version of n-back training manifested that simply incorporate emotional material into the work memory task must be examined carefully in the future.
Audiovisual dual channel n-back training offers the ability to transfer to basic cognitive processes that are closely related to the working memory process. However, dual-channel training based on a computer is highly demanding for a training environment. Thus, it is not conducive to its application promotion. Moreover, emotional working memory training is developed to enhance the emotional control ability of individuals. Only negative material working memory training has been examined. Thus, the general problems of emotional working memory training have not been clarified. A new type of emotional dual dimension n-back training based on smartphone applications was designed in this study. The general applicability and emotional effects of emotion (both positive and negative) and neutral working memory training were examined through the design of a randomized controlled group.
This study developed an app based on n-back task, which is a visual single-channel with two dimensions. A total of 66 healthy college students (34 males and 32 females) participated in the experiment and were randomly divided into control, negative training, neutral training, and positive training groups. All participants were trained with their smartphones. Participants in the training groups must remember the Chinese characters and the position of the Chinese characters in the 3*3 matrix and make two independent n-back tasks on the characters and the position. In the neutral, positive, and negative training groups, the valences of Chinese characters were neutral, positive, and negative, respectively. The participants in the control group completed the digital parity task in an interface similar to a training task. Before and after the training session, participants were asked to complete the visual-spatial working memory task, running memory task, Stroop task, digital shifting task, emotion Stroop task, and a profile of mood states.
Short-term dual-dimension n-back training can make more progress on the visual space work memory task, running memory task, digital shifting task, and classic Stroop task than placebo training. These tasks test the working memory capacity, as well as the update, shift, and inhibit the function, and fully characterize the working memory of the whole picture. However, training based on different emotional materials did not vary greatly across the various types of transfer effects. Short-term training cannot transfer into the emotional Stroop task, which is unable to produce specific emotional control benefits.
The dual-dimensional n-back training app can produce a favorable basic cognitive transfer. This indicates that the cognitive training app has a wide application prospect, and the dual-dimensional training paradigm is worthy of improved employment. For the invisible emotional benefits of the emotional version of n-back training manifested that simply incorporate emotional material into the work memory task must be examined carefully in the future.
潘东旎, 王道湍, 李雪冰. (2018).
PAN Dong-ni, WANG Daotuan, LI Xue-bing. (2018).
工作记忆是暂时储存和加工信息的容量有限的系统, 它是许多高级认知活动的基础(Baddeley, 2003)。工作记忆具有可塑性, 进行工作记忆训练可以提升工作记忆任务成绩(Klingberg et al., 2005), 并影响与工作记忆相关联的其他认知功能, 例如各类执行功能与注意控制(Clark, Lawlor-Savage, & Goghari, 2017; Melby-Lervåg & Hulme, 2013; Melby- Lervåg, Redick, & Hulme, 2016; Weicker, Villringer, & Thone-Otto, 2016), 甚至还能迁移到推理能力、流体智力上(Jaeggi, Buschkuehl, Jonides, & Perrig, 2008; Jaeggi, Studer-Luethi, Buschkuehl, Su, Jonides, & Perrig, 2010)。这些功能与工作记忆的成分重叠或相近, 训练效益的产生可能是由于行为上直接或广泛地策略迁移,以及训练任务与测验任务类似的大脑激活模式(Clark et al., 2017; Salminen, Kuhn, Frensch, & Schubert, 2016)。
作为一种提升大脑表征能力的干预手段, 工作记忆训练主要通过重复练习某项或多项具有较高工作记忆要求的任务来实现(von Bastian & Oberauer, 2014)。其中n-back任务是最为广泛使用的实验室训练范式(Soveri, Antfolk, Karlsson, Salo, & Laine, 2017; Soveri, Karlsson, Waris, Gronholm-Nyman, & Laine, 2017), 已发现其与复杂广度任务、活动记忆任务和分类广度任务等其他工作记忆任务有着高度的相关(Schmiedek, Lövdén, & Lindenberger, 2014), 并且拥有相对更广泛的训练效果(Au, Sheehan, Tsai, Duncan, Buschkuehl, & Jaeggi, 2015)。在该任务中, 受训者需要判断当前试次的材料是否与前n个试次的材料一致。由于记忆材料是序列呈现且不断更新的, 受训者的信息储存也被要求不断更新; 同时随着返回数n的增加, 需要保存的信息量增大, 记忆的难度也逐渐提升。双重n-back任务是n-back任务的变式, 其基于双任务范式的基本原理, 要求标准听觉n-back任务和标准视觉n-back任务同时进行。由于双重n-back任务包含了对两个同时进行的任务的通道整合, 并且任务相互独立, 要求双重的执行控制, 不利于任务特殊化策略的发展和自动化加工的涉入, 因此被认为能够更好地提升受训者在执行功能、绑定加工、注意控制上的能力(Jaeggi et al., 2008; Jaeggi, Schmid, Buschkuehl, & Perrig, 2009; 宋宏珂, 2011)。然而, 双n-back任务不止有双感觉通道一种实现方式。由于一个刺激通常具有多维的属性, 例如刺激的形状、颜色、位置、含义等等, 这些特征属性通常以相对独立的方式进行储存与加工(Magnussen, Greenlee, & Thomas, 1996; 刘晓平, 王兆新, 陈湘川, 张达人, 2003), 并且可表征为工作记忆的不同子系统, 因此利用一个刺激的多维属性进行n-back训练同样满足独立注意、任务整合、防止策略发展的要求, 并且在某种程度上更具有生态效度——现实中的双任务往往是对某种刺激进行多重捆绑操作而不是通道上完全独立的。由于单通道的训练对任务环境的要求更低, 更容易推广, 开发并考察这种单一通道的双维n-back训练的对基础认知能力的迁移效果是有价值的。
情绪与认知有着复杂的互动, 情绪状态下的认知控制是日常功能的重要部分, 由于工作记忆在人类认知活动中的基础性地位, 情绪认知控制能否通过特定的工作记忆训练获得提升则成为一个可探讨的问题。现有研究发现参与情绪调节加工的脑区与进行工作记忆的脑区存在着广泛的重叠(Schweizer, Grahn, Hampshire, Mobbs, & Dalgleish, 2013), 两者的理论结构也具有一定的相似性：工作记忆的核心功能是对信息进行储存与加工, 除了对信息进行短暂的保存, 还涉及刷新、抑制、转换等加工环节; 类似的, 情绪调节过程也要求对不良的情绪信息进行抑制, 同时对情绪价值信息进行不断的更新与转换。因此, 工作记忆过程可以被看作情绪调节的认知基础(Etkin, Büchel, & Gross, 2015)。那么, 工作记忆训练能否迁移到情绪任务中去也成为研究者关注的问题。但对这个问题的解答, 至今还存在争议。Takeuchi等人(2013)发现综合多任务的工作记忆训练能减弱被试愤怒、疲惫和抑郁的心境; 并提升训练者大脑对负性情绪的调控效能。也有研究利用活动记忆任务训练发现其能够改善以高频心率变异性为指标的情绪调节能力(Xiu, Zhou, & Jiang, 2016)。但是, 在一些利用积极控制组作为对照而进行的研究中, 训练对情绪状态的改善却难以在行为层面被观察到(Wanmaker, Geraerts, & Franken, 2015)。
情绪性工作记忆训练是指工作记忆的背景或材料是具有情绪性的, 具体包括诱发的情绪状态、以及情绪图片、情绪词汇、情绪面孔等。最直接的证据来自于Schweizer, Hampshire和Dalgleish (2011)的研究。他们使用负性面孔与负性词汇作为工作记忆训练的材料, 结果发现负性训练产生了特异化的情绪效益：负性的工作记忆训练能够提高情绪控制能力; 而中性工作记忆训练则不能。并且这种情绪性工作记忆训练改变了受训者前额叶皮层的活动模式(Schweizer et al., 2013)。然而负性工作记忆训练的效果在实践中并不一致, 当采用更为严格的实验设计时, 负性n-back训练没能很好地减少受训者的思维反刍, 也难以有效缓解抑郁情绪(Onraedt & Koster, 2014; de Voogd, Wiers, Zwitser, & Salemink, 2016)。
事实上, 负性情绪n-back训练存在几个值得探讨的问题：(1)负性材料的工作记忆训练被发现具有提升负性背景下情绪控制能力的特异效能, 而这种特异的效能被认为是由于个体在训练中克服了本能上对负性材料的认知偏向, 产生了自上而下认知控制能力的提升(Schweizer et al., 2013)。然而, 正如前文阐述, 工作记忆所依赖的额顶网络同样是情绪调节的重要皮层, 无情绪效价的训练本身即可提升个体的情绪控制能力(Sari, Koster, Pourtois, & Derakshan, 2016; Takeuchi et al., 2013; Xiu et al., 2016), 情绪效益可能仅来源于训练与测验任务材料的一致性, 这种混淆没能在现有的研究中得到很好的澄清。(2)负性n-back训练声称的潜在机制是被试通过训练克服了负性认知偏向, 然而训练本身尽管不断对材料进行刷新, 但负性材料本身就是须返回的任务相关刺激, 因此要求被试始终对负性材料保持注意。这与传统的同样以改善负性注意为目标的注意偏向训练有着实质上的不同。绝大多数的注意偏向训练通过操纵负性或中性材料与正确反馈之间的概率引导被试的选择性注意, 其通过阈下引导减少被试对负性刺激的注意投入(MacLeod, Rutherford, Campbell, Ebsworthy, & Holker, 2002); 而这种负性n-back则直接要求处理负性刺激, 训练包含着一种忽略情绪刺激效价信息, 关注其刺激任务信息的加工过程, 以一种阈上“暴露疗法”的形态矫正被试的注意偏向。然而, 这种负性工作记忆干预效果不稳定, 可能是由于被试出于对负性刺激的害怕而导致的训练动机不足(Ansari, 2015)。直接通过负性n-back训练矫正负性偏向对受训者而言可能是痛苦的, 这阻碍了此类情绪工作记忆训练的进一步应用。这些问题要求对情绪性工作记忆训练是否改善、如何改善情绪注意偏向进行更明确的考察。
当前, 尚无研究考察正性材料工作记忆训练的效益迁移。研究表明正性的情绪能够在工作记忆中拓展注意广度(Bartolic, Basso, Schefft, Glauser, & Titanic-Schefft, 1999; Erk, Kleczar, & Walter, 2007; Esmaeili, Karimi, Tabatabaie, Moradi, & Farahini, 2011), 或使训练具有一定动机成分。此外, 不同的情绪效价对工作记忆有着区别性的影响, 消极情绪会使个体注意局部细节; 积极情绪则会偏向于整体结构(Ostaszewski, Green, & Myerson, 1998)。但是, 将不同情绪效价的材料组织进入工作记忆训练程序中时, 其训练效果会存在怎样的差异却并不明确。事实上, 通过对比不同性质的情绪工作记忆训练在认知与情绪控制任务上的训练迁移能够更好地验证潜在情绪效益的特异性与真实性。本研究将直接对比正性、中性、负性的工作记忆训练在各类任务中的迁移效果。包括一般的执行控制任务与情绪性注意偏向任务, 对正负情绪工作记忆训练的迁移进行探索性考察。
如前所述, 尽管双n-back训练远迁移的效果上存在争议, 但其在提升个体基础认知功能, 包括其他工作记忆任务(Au et al., 2015; Clark et al., 2017; Soveri, Karlsson, et al., 2017)、刷新任务(Clark et al., 2017; Weicker et al., 2016)、抑制任务(Melby-Lervåg & Hulme, 2013; Weicker et al., 2016)、注意转换任务(Sari et al., 2016; Waddell & Mooney, 2017)上均有较为稳健的证据。刷新、抑制、转换作为认知控制的重要方面, 也被认为是工作记忆执行功能的三个成分(赵鑫, 周仁来, 2011)。验证一种新型工作记忆训练的适用性与一般性迁移, 对其在这些方面进行考察是必要的。此外, 通过对比情绪注意偏向任务在训练前后的表现差异, 我们可以对工作记忆训练中情绪成分的效果与作用进行澄清。总体而言, 正性、负性、中性的训练在各类任务的迁移上可能出现两种情形：(1)训练材料的效价一致地影响了各类基础任务的迁移以及情绪注意控制任务的迁移; (2)训练材料效价的影响在基础认知任务以及情绪注意控制任务上出现了分离：正性或者负性效价的训练特异地影响了情绪注意偏向。由于尚无先例直接对比正性与负性工作记忆训练在情绪注意偏向上的效果, 本研究将对上述两种竞争性假设进行验证, 以评估情绪材料在工作记忆训练中的价值。
在本研究中, 训练均在自主开发的APP中进行。由于智能手机的使用成为现代人必不可少的生活方式, 基于手机应用的训练程序可能更进一步打破训练的时空限制, 提升训练动机, 拥有广阔的应用前景。我们的主要目标是考察基于手机应用, 且结合负性、中性或正性材料的双维n-back工作记忆训练在工作记忆容量以及中央执行系统三个成分上的迁移效果, 并且通过考察它们在情绪注意偏向上的训练迁移差异探索工作记忆训练中情绪成分的效果与作用。
共66名来自北京市的健康大学生被试(男34人, 女32人)参加实验, 他们通过手机电子抽签的形式随机分为控制组17人(9男8女)、负性训练组17人(10男7女)、中性训练组16人(7男9女)、正性训练组16人(8男8女)。其年龄分布18~29周岁之间, 平均年龄20.57岁, 标准差为2.13。不同组别之间的性别差异不显著, c2(3) = 0.78, p = 0.855; 年龄差异不显著, F(3,62) = 1.50, p = 0.222。
本研究训练任务均嵌套于自行开发的Android应用内。该应用主要有3个功能模块, 被试登录模块、训练过程模块、训练报告模块; 分别实现随机分配训练组别、过程训练(根据被试不同的口令分别平行设置了中性、正性、负性双维n-back任务和控制组任务, 任务具体流程方法于2.3详述)、生成每日训练报告三个核心功能。本应用的开发环境为谷歌官方开发环境Android Studio (SDK等级, 25); 编制该软件前期进行了需求分析、交互界面设计、代码编写、应用软件测试与迭代多个环节, 以实现基本功能与页面布局的美观平衡。该APP适用于操作系统为Android 5.0及以上版本的移动设备, 包括以Android为操作系统的智能手机与平板设备。
训练任务要求被试记住文字的字形以及位置(位置为3×3, 9个位置), 判断当前文字的字形和位置是否与向前第n个字的字形和文字相同, 如果相同, 则对应地按文字或者位置的屏幕按键, 按键为谷歌Material Design设计手册建议大小, 分别设在屏幕底端左右两侧, 按键时设定了动画反馈。在等级1时(等级数即为n的数量), 被试只需要比较当前的文字字形与位置是否与前1个字的字形与位置相同; 进入等级2时, 被试需要比较当前的文字字形与位置是否与前2个字的字形与位置相同, 以此类推。每一组总的试次数为20 + n, 每一个试次中, 文字呈现500 s, 空屏2500 ms; 文字与位置的目标试次均在4~6个范围内随机, 以减少被试猜测策略的使用。在被试进行按键选择时, 界面实时反馈击中、误击或者错过, 以使被试迅速熟悉规则以及提升被试的训练动机。在一组训练结束后, 单独界面反馈该组训练的击中数、误击数、错过数和总分。总分的计算方法为：(击中数/目标数)×(正确拒绝数/非目标数)×100%。总分区间为(0~100)。由于自适应的应用被认为是提升训练水平和获得较远迁移的必要条件(Pedullà et al., 2016), 本训练采用自适应的范式, 任务难度随被试作业水平动态变化。如果被试连续两组成绩大于或等于90分, 会经界面提示到达下一个等级; 若被试成绩连续两组低于10分则后退一个等级。每天, 被试需要进行30组训练, 约30分钟。在任意组与组之间, 可以选择休息, 但是被试均被建议集中式的训练。每日训练完成以后, 会出现训练报告, 报告内容包括是否完成训练、当日最高的训练等级等。每日训练会清空历史成绩, 即被试在一天中均从等级一开始训练。
该训练一共有3个版本, 即根据训练中出现的汉字效价不同, 分为负性版(文字为负性效价)、中性版(文字为中性效价)、正性版(文字为正性效价), 分别对应3个训练组别。任务中采用的情绪单字首先从汉语情感词系统(王一牛, 周立明, 罗跃嘉, 2008)中选出熟悉度较高(> 4.5, 9点量表)的形容词120个。正性词(效价大于6.5, 唤醒度大于5.0)、负性词(效价小于3.5, 唤醒度大于4.8)、中性词(效价为4.6~5.6, 唤醒度为3.1~5.2)各40个(效价与唤醒度均为9点评分)。然后择取双字词中的核心单字, 例如从负性词“下贱”中选取“贱”字, 从正性词“优秀”中选取“优”字, 从中性词“平凡”中选择“平”字, 4组各选取30个, 选取的原则为单字即能产生与双字词一致的效价含义, 并且单字的笔画数控制在6~20之间。随后由37名健康大学生对单字进行独立的熟悉度、唤醒度和效价的评估。根据效价评分为首要参照指标, 最终选择了每组20个单字词作为n-back的文字材料。三组词的平均熟悉度差异不显著, F(2, 57) = 0.34, p = 0.712; 平均效价差异显著, F(2, 57) = 4.50, p < 0.015; 事后比较表明正性词评分显著高于负性词(p < 0.001)与中性词(p = 0.035)。三组字唤醒度差异显著, F(2, 57) = 20.89, p < 0.001; 事后比较表明, 正性词与负性词的唤醒度均显著高于中性词(ps < 0.001)。
为防止训练的安慰剂效应, 控制组同样安排了一定的训练任务, 即采用积极控制组作为对照。控制组训练任务为数字判断任务, 即需要判断在3×3矩阵中出现的随机数字的奇偶性, 该任务与训练任务界面类似, 但无任何工作记忆要求。控制组任务同样需要完成5日, 每日30组, 每组20个数字的判断训练, 每日的整体正确率被记录。
所有前后测任务均由E-prime 2.0编制, 在ThinkPad笔记本电脑上进行实验室实测。
空间工作记忆广度任务改良自Corsi空间广度任务(Corsi’s Spatial Span Task), 它是空间工作记忆广度的经典测量(Smyth, & Scholey, 1994)。本研究任务在5×5的矩阵中随机序列呈现一组方块, 呈现完毕后, 要求被试用鼠标顺序点击方块出现的位置, 点击正确后方块颜色变为绿色。记忆的数量级从3~9逐步递进, 每个数量级有两次机会, 如果两次全部回忆错误即停止继续呈现, 记录最高的顺序回忆数。
活动记忆(running memory)范式为测查工作记忆刷新成分的经典任务。该任务范式要求被试听或看一系列被试未知长度的项目串, 然后系列回忆出最近呈现的几个项目。在活动记忆任务中, 被试要在工作记忆中保持一个激活的项目列, 在该项目序列的长度大于需要反应的项目序列长度时, 每呈现一个新的项目, 被试要消除掉记忆中项目列位置最前的那个项目, 并把新呈现的项目加到末端。研究中采用的活动记忆任务改良自Morris和Jones (1990), 并利用数字作为更新材料。任务随机呈现3~9个数字, 每个数字呈现1000 ms, 数字与数字之间间隔800 ms, 待数字停止呈现后要求被试回忆最后出现的4个数字。练习后进行正式实验, 正式任务共有27个试次, 全部回忆正确计1分, 记录回忆正确率。
转换是工作记忆中央执行功能中的另一重要组成。任务转换范式(task shifting paradigms)是测量该能力的重要范式。该任务要求被试在两个或两个以上的简单认知任务之间进行转换, 比较其重复任务和转换任务执行结果的差异, 重复任务与转换任务的反应时(或错误率)差值称为“转换代价”, 是衡量转换能力的重要指标(Koch, 2005)。任务转换研究可以发生在不同材料的单维属性之间(如在字母元辅音判断和数字奇偶判断之间转换)或相同材料的双维属性之间(如在数字奇偶判断和数字大小判断之间转换)。本研究的转换任务设置参考齐冰、白学军和沈德立(2007)的数字转换任务, 转换的提示线索为两种颜色。任务中, 随机呈现1~9但不包括5的阿拉伯数字, 被试需要完成3阶段的任务：第一阶段, 看到数字做大小判断, 即比5大的数按F键, 比5小的数字按J键; 第二阶段做奇偶判断, 即奇数按F键, 偶数按J键。第三阶段根据数字的颜色判断是做大小判断还是奇偶判断。如果数字是黄色做大小判断, 如果数字是蓝色做奇偶判断。被试在每个阶段的正式测验前练习20试次以熟悉按键。记录三阶段的平均反应时, 计算转换代价作为任务成绩指标, 转换代价为第三阶段的平均反应时减去第一二阶段的平均反应时, 转换代价越小, 说明任务完成越好。
抑制是工作记忆中央执行系统中的重要功能。抑制的测量采用经典Stroop任务(Stroop, 1992)。任务要求被试报告颜色词本身的颜色(红、绿、黄、蓝)而非词义, 4种颜色词与颜色搭配随机出现, 且材料均为冲突情景, 即不存在颜色词的词义与颜色词的颜色一致的情况。红、绿、黄、蓝分别对应“D”、“F”、“J”、“K”键, 正式测验前充分熟悉颜色对应的按键反应。正式试验时颜色词刺激在被试反应后消失, 空屏2000 ms后进入下一个试次, 2000 ms无反应自动消失, 记录判断的反应时, 计算平均正确反应时。
情绪Stroop效应是指当命名用不同颜色写成的“情绪词”和“中性词”的颜色时, 前者的颜色命名时间要长于后者, 这种效应被认为是个体情绪注意偏向的重要指标(Williams, Mathews & Macleod, 1996)。本研究的情绪Stroop任务改良自钟毅平、孙羽中和张杰(2007)的汉字情绪Stroop任务。被试需要复述情绪形容词的同时判断词的颜色(红、绿、黄、蓝分别对应“D”、“F”、“J”、“K”键), 其反应时被记录。词汇来源为汉语情感词系统, 选出熟悉度较高(大于4.5)的形容词120个, 正性(效价大于6.0, 唤醒度大于5.0)、负性(效价小于4, 唤醒度大于4.8)、中性(效价为4.5~5.5, 唤醒度为3~5.2)且与训练材料不同的汉字词各40个。平均标准效价为正性词(6.92 ± 0.21), 负性词(2.99 ± 0.18), 中性词(5.13 ± 0.34)。效价方差分析F(2, 117) = 2531.42, p < 0.001; 事后比较表明三类词效价差异显著, ps < 0.001。三类词唤醒度差异显著, F(2,117) = 65.13, p < 0.001; 事后比较表明, 中性词分别与正负性词差异显著, ps < 0.001, 负性词与正性词唤醒度差异不显著。40个词按性质随机分配为前测词语和后测词语, 在前测或者后测中均有20个不同效价的形容词。
利用中文直译版简明心境量表(POMS) (祝蓓里, 1995)采集被试训练前后的基本心境状态, 共40个题项, 要求被试评估近期(本测验要求近5日)的心境状态。量表有紧张、愤怒、疲劳、慌乱、抑郁、精力、自尊6个分维度; 分别计算分维度平均分数。
被试首先填写个人信息以及简明心境量表, 并且顺序进行各项前测任务, 依次为空间工作记忆广度任务, 活动记忆任务, 数字转换任务, Stroop任务, 情绪Stroop任务以评估被试的视空间工作记忆广度、刷新、转换、抑制、情绪注意偏向的基线水平。任务与任务之间, 被试可以稍作休息, 以调整状态。然后所有的被试均需要安装自编的训练APP, 输入被试号与给定的六位数字口令, 进入训练界面。控制组、负性训练组、中性训练组、正性训练组有不同的口令, 口令在4个组别中随机分配。为使4个实验组被试熟悉训练规则, 实验员在为被试完成安装并进行演示后另外邮发了任务规则手册, 说明自主训练的注意事项, 例如要求本人训练以及建议集中式训练等, 以确保所有被试均理解训练规则与要求。被试自主完成5日的训练, 每日训练后需要将生成的报告发送给实验员从而领取一定报酬。训练期结束后, 被试再次来到同一实验地点顺序完成空间工作记忆广度任务, 活动记忆任务, 数字转换任务, Stroop任务, 情绪Stroop任务(为防止练习效应, 后测情绪Stroop任务中的情绪形容词与前测中的情绪形容词不同); 为恒定不同任务间可能产生的影响, 前测与后测的任务顺序一致。最后被试再次完成简明心境量表, 填写近5日即训练期间的一般心境状况。图1为实验流程简图。
短时的双维n-back训练首先能显著提升训练本身的成绩, 4个训练组5日内训练提升情况见图2。经过5日的训练, 4个训练组的成绩均随着训练时间的增加提升, 可以达到的最高等级(即n的数量)的全距为2~6。其中负性训练组平均达到最高水平n = 3.53, 标准差为0.80; 中性训练组平均达到最高水平n = 3.38, 标准差为0.50; 正性训练组平均达到最高水平n = 3.63, 标准差为0.50。三组之间训练最高水平的组间差异不显著, F(2, 48) = 0.66, p = 0.521。控制组数字判断任务训练, 所有被试每天的正确率都在90%以上。
三组被试训练前后的空间工作记忆广度成绩及训练效果见表1。空间工作记忆任务广度成绩的训练效果量 = 训练后的广度分数-训练前的广度分数。
|成绩||控制组(N = 17)||负性训练组(N = 17)||中性训练组(N = 16)||正性训练组(N = 16)|
|前测成绩||5.41 (0.99)||5.65 (0.98)||5.19 (0.87)||5.29 (1.47)|
|后测成绩||5.71 (1.21)||6.44 (1.03)||6.53 (0.90)||6.06 (1.29)|
|训练效果量||0.29 (1.13)||0.79 (1.28)||1.34 (0.83)||0.78 (0.75)|
为了考察训练前4组被试的空间工作记忆广度是否存在差异, 对训练前的空间工作记忆广度任务成绩进行了单因素方差分析, 结果表明, 4组被试训练前的成绩没有显著差异, F(3, 62) = 0.55, p = 0.653。进行4(组别：控制组/负性训练组/中性训练组/正性训练组)×2(测验时间：前测/后测)的重复测量方差分析, 结果表明, 组别主效应不显著, F < 1; 测验时间主效应显著, F (1, 62) = 40.03, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.39; 组别与测验时间交互作用显著, F (3, 62) = 2.85, p = 0.045, η2 = 0.12。为进一步比较4组被试空间广度任务的训练效果, 分别对4组被试训练前与训练后的空间工作记忆广度成绩进行了配对样本t检验。结果表明, 控制组的训练前后空间工作记忆广度任务成绩差异不显著, t(16) = -1.07, p = 0.3; 负性训练组训练后的空间工作记忆广度成绩显著高于训练前成绩, t(16) = -2.54, p = 0.022; 中性训练组训练后的空间工作记忆广度任务成绩高于训练前成绩, t(15) = - 6.47, p < 0.001; 正性训练组训练后的空间工作记忆广度任务成绩显著高于训练前成绩, t(15) = -4.16, p = 0.001。
三组被试训练前后的活动记忆任务成绩(正确率), 及训练效果见表2, 活动记忆任务的训练效果量 = 训练后的任务正确率-训练前的任务正确率。
|成绩||控制组(N = 17)||负性训练组(N = 17)||中性训练组(N = 16)||正性训练组(N = 16)|
|前测成绩||0.96 (0.09)||0.94 (0.06)||0.96 (0.06)||0.95 (0.06)|
|后测成绩||0.96 (0.06)||0.96 (0.04)||0.98 (0.03)||0.99 (0.02)|
|训练效果量||0 (0.12)||0.02 (0.05)||0.02 (0.04)||0.04 (0.05)|
为考察训练前4组被试的活动记忆任务(刷新能力)是否存在差异, 对训练前的空间工作活动记忆任务成绩进行了单因素方差分析, 结果表明, 4组被试训练前的成绩没有显著差异, F(3, 62) = 0.38, p = 0.766。进行4(组别：控制组/负性训练组/中性训练组/正性训练组)×2(测验时间：前测/后测)的重复测量方差分析, 结果表明, 组别主效应不显著, F < 1; 测验时间主效应显著, F (1, 62) = 5.22, p = 0.026, η2 = 0.078; 组别与测验时间交互作用不显著, F (3, 62) = 0.81, p = 0.493。由于活动记忆任务出现了较大的天花板效应, 为考察训练效果的趋势, 分别对4组被试训练前与训练后的活动记忆任务成绩进行了配对样本t检验。结果表明, 控制组的训练前后活动记忆任务成绩差异不显著, t(16) = 0.00, p > 0.1; 负性训练组训练后的活动记忆任务成绩高于训练前成绩, t(16) = -1.57, p = 0.136, 但没有达到显著性水平; 中性训练组训练后的活动记忆任务成绩高于训练前成绩t(15) = -2.08, p = 0.055, 边缘显著; 正性训练组训练后的活动记忆任务成绩显著高于训练前成绩t(15) = -3.09, p = 0.007。
三组被试训练前后的转换代价(转换任务与非转换任务的反应时之差)及训练效果见表3。数字转换任务训练量 = 训练前的任务转换代价-训练后的任务转换代价。
|成绩||控制组(N = 17)||负性训练组(N = 17)||中性训练组(N = 16)||正性训练组(N = 16)|
|前测成绩||517 (118)||494 (144)||422 (154)||521 (116)|
|后测成绩||501 (167)||427 (174)||386 (135)||419 (83)|
|训练效果量||15 (171)||67 (84)||46 (121)||102 (132)|
为了考察训练前4组被试的转换代价是否存在差异, 对训练前的转换任务成绩进行了单因素方差分析, 结果表明, 4组被试训练前的成绩没有显著差异, F(3, 62) = 1.51, p = 0.233。进行4(组别：控制组/负性训练组/中性训练组/正性训练组)×2(测验时间：前测/后测)的重复测量方差分析, 结果表明, 组别主效应不显著, F < 1; 测验时间主效应显著, F (1, 62) = 12.77, p = 0.01, η2 = 1.71; 组别与测验时间交互作用未达到显著性水平, F (3, 62) = 1.28, p = 0.288, η2 = 0.058。但分别对4组被试训练前与训练后的转换代价进行了配对样本t检验。结果表明, 控制组的训练前后转换代价差异不显著, t(16) = 0.36, p = 0.721; 负性训练组训练后的转换代价低于训练前, t(16) = 3.29, p = 0.005; 中性训练组训练后的转换代价略低于训练前, t(15) = 1.53, p = 0.14; 正性训练组训练后的转换代价显著低于训练前成绩, t(15) = 3.09, p = 0.007。
三组被试训练前后的Stroop任务反应时, 及训练效果见表4, Stroop抑制任务的训练效果量 = 训练前的Stroop任务反应时-训练后的Stroop任务反应时。为了考察训练前4组被试的Stroop任务成绩是否存在差异, 对训练前的Stroop任务成绩进行了单因素方差分析, 结果表明, 4组被试训练前的成绩没有显著差异, F(3, 62) = 1.18, p = 0.325。进行4(组别：控制组/负性训练组/中性训练组/正性训练组)×2(测验时间：前测/后测)的重复测量方差分析, 结果表明, 组别主效应不显著, F < 1; 测验时间主效应显著, F (1, 62) = 65.77, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.52; 组别与测验时间交互作用边缘显著, F (3, 62) = 2.23, p = 0.093, η2 = 0.098。进一步进行简单效应分析表明, 负性(p < 0.001)、中性(p < 0.001)、正性训练组(p < 0.001)后测的Stroop任务反应时与前测相比均显著增快; 而控制组两次测验间差异未达到显著性水平(p = 0.059)。为比较4组被试Stroop任务的训练效果, 对Stroop训练效果量进行单因素方差分析, 结果表明, 训练组别的主效应边缘显著, F(3,62) = 2.23, p = 0.093, η2 = 0.098。进一步成对比较表明, 控制组与负性训练组的训练效果差异显著p = 0.043, 控制组与正性训练组差异显著p = 0.023, 控制组与中性训练组的训练效果虽然有差异, 但是边缘显著p = 0.086。训练组相较于控制组, 都有较好的在抑制功能上的获益。利用情绪材料进行的训练(正性或负性), 相比中性材料表现出更好的训练效果。
|成绩||控制组(N = 17)||负性训练组(N = 17)||中性训练组(N = 16)||正性训练组(N = 16)|
|前测成绩||818 (81)||858 (122)||788 (162)||853 (104)|
|后测成绩||773 (64)||745 (88)||685 (143)||729 (84)|
|训练效果量||45 (47)||113 (92)||103 (115)||123 (117)|
采用情绪Stroop任务, 要求被试命名不同效价的词并且判断其颜色。一般认为, 命名具有情绪效价的词会有更长的反应时。首先检验前测时的Stroop效应, 结果表明中性词与正性词的反应时差异不显著, t(65) = 0.28, p = 0.783; 负性词与中性词的反应时差异边缘显著, 负性词反应时时间长于中性词, t(65) = 1.88, p = 0.06。说明存在情绪Stroop效应, 并且只在负性词中出现。后测情绪Stroop任务中, 情绪Stroop效应依然存在, 中性词与正性词的反应时差异不显著, t(65) = 0.71, p = 0.483; 负性词和中性词的反应时差异显著, t(65) = 2.06, p = 0.044。
为了考察训练后, 4组被试负性偏向能否改善, 分别对4组被试训练前与训练后的负性Stroop量(负性Stroop效应量为前后测负性词反应时减去中性词反应时)进行了配对样本t检验。结果表明, 控制组的训练前后负性Stroop效应无差异, t(16) = -0.51, p = 0.619; 此外负性训练组[t(16) = -0.04, p = 0.973]、中性训练组[t(15) = 1.09, p = 0.294]、正性训练组[t(15) = -1.33, p = 0205]训练后的负性Stroop效应均无差异, 说明负性Stroop并没有因为练习(前测)或者工作记忆训练而改善。
此外, 对中性词、负性词、正性词分别进行2(测验时间：前测/后测)×4(组别：控制组/负性训练组/中性训练组/正性训练组)的重复测量方差分析, 结果均表明, 前后测的主效应显著, 三组主效应分别为：中性词F(1,62) = 15.84, p < 0.001; 负性词F(1,62) = 8.275, p = 0.006; 正性词F(1,62) = 12.584, p = 0.001; 组别与前后测的交互作用均不显著, ps > 0.05。说明情绪Stroop中的效价词反应时对训练组别并不敏感, 仅仅是由于练习的存在(前测), 被试的反应时整体提升, 表5为情绪Stroop任务中不同组别前后测中, 对不同效价词的反应时。
|正性词||736 (53)||708 (56)||730 (78)||690 (80)||693 (79)||672 (77)||744 (67)||724 (62)|
|中性词||744 (69)||741 (53)||727 (74)||678 (56)||692 (68)||685 (82)||731 (47)||694 (65)|
|负性词||747 (61)||729 (77)||753 (76)||704 (82)||724 (82)||696 (92)||729 (64)||710 (76)|
首先考察各组别的前测心境水平, 利用多元方差分析考察不同组别之间简明心境量表的子维度前测成绩：结果表明, 紧张、愤怒、疲劳、抑郁、精力、慌乱、自尊各个子维度的分数不存在组间的差异Fs < 2, ps > 0.5。对不同组训练前后的一般情绪效益进行考察, 一般情绪效益 = 后测子维度分数-前测子维度分数。结果显示紧张子维度变化边缘显著, F(3,62) = 2.188, p = 0.098, η2 = 0.096; 慌乱子维度变化存在差异趋势, 但未达到显著性水平, F(3,62) = 1.695, p = 0.185, η2 = 0.074, 其他子维度变化不显著。多重比较表明, 正性训练组的紧张减少显著高于控制组; p = 0.029; 负性训练组的慌乱情绪增加显著高于中性训练组, p = 0.04, 各组别一般心境各个子维度训练变化值见表6。
|增加的紧张||0.59 (1.97)||0.47 (5.65)||-1.00 (3.72)||-2.50 (3.65)|
|增加的愤怒||0.76 (3.91 )||1.76 (7.28)||1.13 (6.56)||-1.50 (2.50)|
|增加的疲劳||-0.06 (4.37 )||-0.12 (6.16)||-0.81 (3.33)||-1.13 (2.53)|
|增加的抑郁||0.41 (3.30 )||-0.06 (5.66)||-0.56 (3.12)||-2.00 (2.45)|
|增加的精力||0.12 (1.32)||-0.06 (5.06)||-1.75 (6.09)||0.94 (3.89)|
|增加的慌乱||-0.18 (1.85)||0.35 (3.86)||-1.81 (2.54)||-0.94 (3.23)|
|增加的自尊||0.18 (1.24)||-0.06 (4.04)||-0.13 (3.91)||0.88 (2.60)|
双n-back任务由于被发现有提升个体流体智力的潜能而受到广泛关注(Jaeggi et al., 2008), 尽管越来越多的研究表明其对以流体智力为代表的远迁移效益是有限的(Melby-Lervåg et al., 2016; Redick et al., 2013; Shipstead, Redick, & Engle, 2010, 2012), 然而它被认为较其他单任务范式有更好的训练效果, 较高的任务复杂性能够促进个体对认知资源的广泛利用(Salminen et al., 2016), 其训练效果也能成功迁移到执行功能和注意的任务上(Lilienthal, Tamez, Shelton, Myerson, & Hale, 2013; Shipstead et al., 2012)。本研究的主要目标之一是考察新型双维n-back训练的适用性。我们的训练任务采用了中文汉字的字形与所处的空间位置两个特征作为n-back任务中须独立返回的目标属性。结果表明在压缩训练时间至5天的情形下, 该种训练仍能够取得广泛的基于工作记忆核心成分的效果迁移。
视空间工作记忆任务主要考察训练前后被试的空间工作记忆广度的变化。与先前利用其它类型的n-back训练的研究结果类似(Cortese et al., 2015; Melby-Lervåg & Hulme, 2013; Schwaighofer et al., 2015), 我们的研究显示无论是中性还是情绪训练组都相较于对照组在记忆广度上有提升。尽管n-back任务被认为是一种更倾向于训练工作记忆执行成分的范式, 但是由于本研究中训练中的返回n值是自适应的, 随着等级升高, 试次中须保持的项目数也不断增加。值得一提的是, 工作记忆的容量与工作记忆的加工效率是工作记忆能力的一体两面(von Bastian & Oberauer, 2014)。刷新训练能够通过提升工作记忆的加工效率解放工作记忆容量(刘春雷, 周仁来, 2012; 史战, 2016), 我们的双维n-back刷新训练也可以达到这一目标。
刷新被认为是执行功能的核心也是n-back训练任务的主要过程(Szmalec, Verbruggen, Vandierendonck, & Kemps, 2011), 它涉及加载任务相关信息与过滤无关信息(Kim, Wittenberg, & Nam, 2017), 视听双通道的n-back训练能够促进刷新任务的成绩, 而单一n-back的训练并没能产生提升刷新任务成绩的效用(Salminen et al., 2016)。在我们的研究中, 双维n-back训练相较于控制组能够在整体上提升个体的活动记忆任务成绩, 较单n-back任务更具优势。而以Stroop任务为代表的抑制功能在本研究中也由双维n-back任务提升。一些研究表明, 纯粹的工作记忆刷新训练是无法迁移到抑制任务中去的(Dahlin, Neely, Larsson, Backman, & Nyberg, 2008), 然而本研究中的双维n-back刷新任务能够有效提升个体在Stroop任务中的成绩, 与双通道的n-back训练产生类似的迁移效果(Melby-Lervåg & Hulme, 2013)。这是由于双n-back任务的属性并非纯粹刷新, 还包含对当前无关刺激的抑制。当n大于2时, 须返回的刺激与保持在记忆中的刺激并不完全一致, 它们被抑制在记忆系统中, 等待下一试次的提取; 在双任务中, 还需要抑制另一条任务线刺激的干扰, 使任务中抑制的成分更为显著。特别的, 双重属性任务不同于完全独立的双通道n-back, 尽管属性独立但是却是以客体(object)整体呈现的, 这就必然包含了一个特征整合与捆绑加工的过程, 在整合加工的背景下进行某刺激属性的抑制可能导致更高的抑制要求。研究表明, 抑制任务与刷新任务在神经激活模式上有着高度的相关(Kim, Wittenberg, & Nam, 2017), 这可能是本研究中的双维n-back训练在刷新与抑制任务的迁移上一致凸显的原因。
数字转换任务的实质是一种依赖注意转换与认知灵活性的作业(Anderson, 2002)。转换能力是用转换代价测量的, 在我们的研究中转换代价是指在任务规则变化后, 被试的正确反应时间的增长。此前并没有文献直接验证n-back训练在该任务上的迁移, 但在其他要求认知转换与注意控制的作业中被证明有正性的迁移(Clark et al., 2017; Melby-Lervåg & Hulme, 2013; Weicker et al., 2016)。我们的结果表明, 情绪性训练能够显著地提升数字规则转换能力, 中性训练也产生了不错的效果, 说明双维n-back训练在整体上能够提升个体的任务转换能力。数字转换任务与双重n-back任务在操作上具有一定的相同点, 均是基于一个刺激双重属性的注意转换, 训练时的注意分配策略可以较为完整地迁移到测验任务中。此外, Senn, Espy和Kaufmann (2004)认为抑制和工作记忆是成功完成转换任务的先决条件(由于被试要去抑制先前已熟悉任务规则的优势, 而规则又必须储存在工作记忆系统中), 双维n-back训练可能带去对工作记忆、抑制与转换任务的协同进步。
工作记忆训练中的双任务成分被认为是其获得近远迁移的重要条件(Klingberg, 2009)。双任务的切换执行要求较高的认知灵活性, 可使受训者的模态网络得到强化, 而非基于任务的特殊化策略。我们的研究发现, 基于同一刺激不同属性的双维n-back训练同样能够产生与双通道n-back任务类似的迁移, 短期的训练能够使受训者的视空间工作记忆任务、活动记忆任务、数字转换任务、经典Stroop任务产生相较控制组更大的进步。这些行为任务分别表征了个体空间工作记忆容量、刷新、转换、抑制功能, 较为完整地表征了工作记忆的全貌。由于该任务训练通道单一, 能够有较为广阔的应用前景, 因此可以成为进一步开发的训练范式。
我们的研究中引入了正性材料的训练来澄清情绪工作记忆训练的一般问题, 发现无论是正性情绪还是负性情绪训练都没能产生有价值的主效应或者与效价的交互, 提示不同情绪效价的工作记忆训练在在情绪词汇Stroop任务上不敏感。相较对照组与中性组, 负性训练组并没有影响后测任务中对负性情绪词的颜色命名反应时, 也没有改善负性偏向; 正性训练组也没有产生对正性情绪词颜色命名反应时的特异性变化, 或者影响正性偏向。在本研究中, 训练前后均观测到了普遍的负性偏向, 即负性词颜色命名反应时较中性词更长, 这与先前的研究一致(钟毅平 等, 2007), 然而这种负性偏向并没有被任何情绪或非情绪工作记忆训练改善。后测的颜色命名时间相较于前测有普遍的提升, 但是似乎是熟悉任务内容导致, 情绪变量或者是否为工作记忆训练均没有造成命名反应时的特异性变化。结果提示对于情绪材料的特异性加工是稳定的, 它并不能通过短期的工作记忆训练或者糅合情绪材料的工作记忆训练改变。
如前所述, 我们发现情绪训练与非情绪训练在对基础认知能力的迁移上有着类似的效果, 而它们在情绪任务上也没有产生差别, 甚至同控制组相比, 同样缺乏效益证据。这可能是因为情绪Stroop任务与基于选择性注意机制的经典Stroop并不相同, 它被认为是通过汉字形音义加工后激活个体情绪从而导致的反应单元的普通延迟(钟毅平 等, 2007)。要使得这种情绪性延缓得到修正, 必须控制个体情绪的激活, 因此先导的情绪控制过程是必要的。对工作记忆训练而言, 此类情绪抑制显然是一种较远的迁移。由于本研究中训练时间短, 可能导致训练的情绪效益不显著。有证据表明, 要达到较远的迁移, 一定时长的训练是必要的(von Bastian & Oberauer, 2014)。在短期训练中被试水平还呈现上升趋势, 未到达平台期或可延展至更高, 压缩训练时长出于验证新型任务有效性的考量, 但可能损失了训练可能产生的较远迁移。然而值得关注的是, 不同情绪材料的训练却对受训者的一般心境有简单一致性迁移的效果：负性训练组的慌乱情绪在受训后略有提升, 尽管未达到显著性水平。这提示未来若将此类负性情绪工作记忆训练运用到情绪障碍人群中时需要更为谨慎, 以免他们由于负性训练而引发更恶劣的心境。
情绪控制是个体日常功能的重要方面, 也是情绪障碍维持与发展的关键机制。由于情绪控制有赖于以工作记忆为基础的认知控制, 情绪性工作记忆训练开始获得研究者的关注。然而如何训练个体的情绪工作记忆却存在争议。一些研究者发现将负性情绪材料糅合进双n-back任务能够使受训者产生特异性的情绪效益(Schweizer et al., 2011)。但本研究在行为上考察了基于情绪材料的双n-back训练与中性的双n-back训练, 结果表明它们在对各类基础认知能力的效果迁移上不存在特异的差异, 而在情绪注意偏向任务中也未产生预期的定向效果。此前, 有研究表明将积极、消极以及中性的面孔与场景作为n-back的材料, 其任务成绩并没有受到不同情绪材料的影响(Román et al., 2015), 我们的研究则发现, 将正性、中性、负性的效价文字作为情绪工作记忆训练的材料, 其在训练提升和各类效果迁移上都没有显著的差异。因此, 单纯将情绪材料糅合进工作记忆任务中的训练模式须被更谨慎地考察。
由于工作记忆中的情绪成分会占用大量的注意资源(Lavric, Rippon, & Gray, 2003; Shackman, Sarinopoulos, Maxwell, Pizzagalli, Lavric, & Davidson, 2006), 有情绪成分的工作记忆训练实质是要求个体在任务中进行注意分配的操作, 尽可能地减少对情绪效价信息的加工, 以更好地完成双维n-back这一主要任务。但该过程是一种自动化的策略选择, 个体一旦熟悉规则确立目标就十分容易忽略对材料情绪性质的分析与评价。在具有较高负荷的工作记忆任务中, 对情绪信息的不充分加工使得训练时的情绪状态得不到有效诱发(高鑫, 周仁来, 董云英, 2013), 那么声称训练能影响个体自上而下的情绪控制也不具有逻辑上的合法性, 因为情绪本身并没有产生, 控制情绪也就无从谈起。此外, 由于n-back任务中的情绪材料是随机反复出现的, 受训者经过多日的训练已经对材料本身相当熟悉, 此时n-back的返回规律依旧是不可预测的, 因此训练如果继续在时间上延展, 基本隐没了情绪与非情绪n-back训练的区别, 这是本研究选择压缩训练时间的原因之一, 而训练结果也表明是否有情绪材料的参与在各项基础迁移上的差异并不大。仅仅将固定情绪材料卷入n-back任务中, 可能无法达成情绪训练的目标。事实上, 一个有价值的情绪工作记忆训练可能应包含更多个体的情绪与动机的卷入, 例如有研究者开发了一种将n-back与操作广度任务结合起来的Back-span任务, 利用span试次时的威胁性描述直接激发个体的焦虑情绪与无关思维, 该任务被发现能提高考试焦虑者任务无关思维条件下的工作记忆刷新功能和情绪控制能力, 并伴随着任务中额叶中线theta节律活动水平的提高(史战, 2016)。未来, 奖惩等直接性的情绪成分可以被统合进工作记忆的任务中以提升情绪工作记忆训练的生态效度。
由于移动手机的普及, 一些新进的研究开始将各类干预方案集成在APP中, 并考察其适用性。然而多数的应用通常以综合干预为目标, 为特异的临床病患开发：例如正念软件以降低精神病患的愤怒与攻击性(Mistler, Ben-Zeev, Carpenter-Song, Brunette, & Friedman, 2017); 手机虚拟现实应用减少患者社交焦虑并提升信心(Kim, Hong, Kim, Jung, Kyeong, & Kim, 2017); 结合心理教育、社会参与和放松单元的综合性应用减少创伤后应激障碍患者的临床症状(Roy et al., 2017); 综合知识内容和认知行为疗法的应用提升精神分裂症的动机行为与生活满意度(Schlosser et al., 2016)等。这些研究表明利用移动端进行干预已经成为可能。此外, 相较于健康贴士、内容推送类应用, 直接进行认知功能训练的应用被发现能更好地改善抑郁患者的情绪状态(Arean et al., 2016), 这暗示认知训练型应用的开发在未来可能有更好的前景, 尤其在临床干预上。在我们的研究中, 训练组相较于控制组广泛的阳性效应表明这种基于移动终端训练的应用潜力。就工作记忆训练而言, 基于移动设备进行训练的研究还非常有限, 以往为增强训练弹性, 非实验室的训练也多利用家庭电脑在网页上进行, 然而训练的成效存在很大的不一致(Oh, Park, & Seo, 2017)。其中一个重要的原因即无法保证规定的训练量。这个问题在手机移动端中则可能弱化, 因为移动端训练的自由度更高, 更为便捷, 趣味性也更强。这些优势可以弥补此类非实验室训练无法保证训练要求的局限。事实上, 手机终端训练能最大程度地打破时空限制, 使被试能够在最佳的准备状态(包括动机水平、注意水平等)实施训练, 这对于获取训练进步以及由训练带去的效益迁移是必要的(von Bastian & Eschen, 2016; von Bastian & Oberauer, 2014)。由于我国手机网民规模庞大, 各类手机应用的用户不断增长, 此类训练应用的开发可能也拥有良好的前景。当然本研究以实验为目标, 并没能完善除训练单元以外的其他功能, 未来应用开发需要更加注重用户体验, 在深入市场调研的基础上优化训练应用的产品设计。
本研究存在若干局限。首先, 研究将数字活动记忆任务作为刷新能力的指标。前测任务的完成水平已经较高, 天花板效应可能阻碍训练效益的进一步显现。此外, 利用某项单一任务可能无法完整地表征工作记忆中各个独立成分, 训练获益之间的关联也难以得到系统确切的考察。未来可使用其他任务进一步验证训练对工作记忆的影响, 并且考察训练迁移之间的系统关联。第二, 在考察工作记忆训练对个体的认知与情绪效益的过程中, 一个隐含的假设是训练对情绪状态与认知功能的影响是独立的, 但是由于情绪与认知作业存在相互作用, 训练增益对认知与情绪功能的改善也可能存在交互。未来研究可以采用更为精细的设计, 追踪记录个体训练期间的情绪改变与认知作业水平, 从而完整地考察工作记忆训练对个体情绪与认知功能的综合影响。第三, 我们的实验人群为健康大学生被试, 这局限了结果的可推广性。个体差异会很大程度的影响训练效果的迁移(Jaeggi, Buschkuehl, Shah, & Jonides, 2014)。而健康人群的认知提升空间有限, 工作记忆训练进步可能更难实现、更少维持(潘东旎, 李雪冰, 2017); 在具有情绪性认知缺损的个体中, 训练可能表现出某种补偿效应, 使获益更为显著(von Bastian & Oberauer, 2014)。因此, 具有情绪工作记忆缺损的人群, 例如抑郁患者(Joormann, Levens, & Gotlib, 2011), 可能是情绪性工作记忆训练的真正受益者。未来的研究还需要将训练进一步拓展到各类情绪障碍人群中, 考察情绪性工作记忆训练对临床个体的效用。
文字-空间双维n-back训练能够提高个体工作记忆的容量和中央执行功能; 但训练中的文字效价差异并未在在情绪认知控制上产生特异性的影响。在训练形式上, 利用手机APP搭载工作记忆训练具有可行性; 在训练内容上, 双维n-back任务是一个有效的工作记忆训练任务, 但情绪材料在工作记忆训练中的价值与意义还需要进一步考察。
Assessment and development of executive function (EF) during childhood,
This review paper outlines the issues associated with the assessment of executive function (EF) in children and adolescents, and describes the developmental profile of executive processes across childhood. At the outset, EF is defined, and cognitive and behavioral impairments associated with executive dysfunction (EDF) are described. A developmental model of EF is proposed incorporating four discrete but inter-related executive domains (attentional control, cognitive flexibility, goal setting, and information processing) which operate in an integrative manner to enable “executive control”. Characteristics that constitute traditional EF measures are discussed, as are the problems associated with test interpretation. The ecological validity of EF tests and neuropsychological assessment procedures are examined, and adjunct methods of measurement are presented to enable a more comprehensive and valid assessment of EF. Based on developmental and normative studies, the maturation of executive domains is mapped. Attentional control appears to emerge in infancy and develop rapidly in early childhood. In contrast, cognitive flexibility, goal setting, and information processing experience a critical period of development between 7 and 9 years of age, and are relatively mature by 12 years of age. A transitional period is thought to occur at the beginning of adolescence, and shortly after “executive control” is likely to emerge. In order to confirm our current understanding of EF development and further enhance our understanding of brain-behavior relationships, longitudinal studies incorporating structural and functional neuroimaging are required.
The therapeutic potential of working memory training for treating mental disorders
The therapeutic potential of working memory training for treating mental disorders
The use and effectiveness of mobile Apps for depression: Results from a fully remote clinical trial,
Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory: a meta-analysis,
Abstract Working memory (WM), the ability to store and manipulate information for short periods of time, is an important predictor of scholastic aptitude and a critical bottleneck underlying higher-order cognitive processes, including controlled attention and reasoning. Recent interventions targeting WM have suggested plasticity of the WM system by demonstrating improvements in both trained and untrained WM tasks. However, evidence on transfer of improved WM into more general cognitive domains such as fluid intelligence (Gf) has been more equivocal. Therefore, we conducted a meta-analysis focusing on one specific training program, n-back. We searched PubMed and Google Scholar for all n-back training studies with Gf outcome measures, a control group, and healthy participants between 18 and 50 years of age. In total, we included 20 studies in our analyses that met our criteria and found a small but significant positive effect of n-back training on improving Gf. Several factors that moderate this transfer are identified and discussed. We conclude that short-term cognitive training on the order of weeks can result in beneficial effects in important cognitive functions as measured by laboratory tests.
Working memory: looking back and looking forward,
Effects of experimentally- induced emotional states on frontal lobe cognitive task performance,
A growing body of evidence suggests that dysphoric and euphoric emotional states are associated with reliable patterns of frontal lobe activity. Specifically, dysphoric affect coincides with greater right than left frontal lobe activity, and euphoric affect tends to correspond with a converse pattern of activity. The present study examined whether cognitive outcomes associated with the left and right frontal lobes are differentially influenced by dysphoric and euphoric affect. In a completely between-groups design, 60 dextral women were administered either the positive or negative conditions of the Velten Mood Induction Procedure, and they subsequently completed either a verbal or figural fluency test. Euphoria resulted in better verbal than figural fluency performance, and dysphoria yielded better figural than verbal fluency outcomes. These findings are consistent with electrophysiological data concerning frontal lobe activity during euphoric and dysphoric affect, and they underscore the notion that affective influences upon cognition are more complicated than previously thought.
Functional brain activation associated with working memory training and transfer,
While behavioural trials of working memory (WM) training have received much attention in recent years, a lesser explored parallel approach is functional neuroimaging. A small literature has suggested a complex time course for functional activation pattern changes following WM training (i.e. not simply increasing or decreasing due to training); however, no study to date has examined such neuroplastic effects in both the training task (dual n-back) and the fluid intelligence transfer task to which the training is purported to transfer (Raven Matrices). This study investigated neural correlates of WM training in healthy young adults randomized to six weeks of WM training, or an active control condition (processing speed training) with a pre- and post-training fMRI design. Results indicated significant reductions in activation for the WM trained group in key WM-task related areas for trained WM tasks after training compared to the processing speed active control group. The same pattern of training related decreases in activation for the WM trained group was not observed for the transfer task, which is consistent with null results for all cognitive outcomes of the present trial. The observed pattern of results suggests that repetitive practice with a complex task does indeed lead to neuroplastic processes that very likely represent the reduced demand for attentional control while sub-components of the task become more routinized with practice. We suggest that future research investigate neural correlates of WM training in populations for which WM itself is impaired and/or behavioural trials of WM training have returned more promising results
Cognitive training for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Meta-analysis of clinical and neuropsychological outcomes from randomized controlled trials,
Transfer of learning after updating training mediated by the striatum,
Abstract Process-specific training can improve performance on untrained tasks, but the magnitude of gain is variable and often there is no transfer at all. We demonstrate transfer to a 3-back test of working memory after 5 weeks of training in updating. The transfer effect was based on a joint training-related activity increase for the criterion (letter memory) and transfer tasks in a striatal region that also was recruited pretraining. No transfer was observed to a task that did not engage updating and striatal regions, and age-related striatal changes imposed constraints on transfer. These findings indicate that transfer can occur if the criterion and transfer tasks engage specific overlapping processing components and brain regions.
Valence-specific regulation effects in a working memory task with emotional context,
The modulatory effects of emotional context on episodic memory have been shown recently. We were interested whether working memory is similarly susceptible to emotional context or whether working memory helps to distract from emotion, i.e. serves to downregulate emotional reactions in order to sustain the prior intention. We tested the effects of emotional stimulation during active maintenance of information by modulating the emotional context of maintenance processes in a Sternberg item recognition task with two load conditions. Behavioral data revealed no impairment of working memory performance during emotional context. Actually, behavioral performance was better for emotional compared to neutral context during high load. Furthermore, emotional context had no interference effect on working memory-related brain activation. Instead, we found a valence-specific regulation effect: High cognitive effort was associated with reduced activity in emotion processing regions, i.e. the amygdala and ventral striatum. This effect was mediated by different prefrontal regions, i.e. by left inferior PFC for negative and left superior PFC for positive valence. Furthermore, our results reveal an integration effect of emotion and cognition in right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex showing increased recruitment with increasing complexity of the task. The results presented here are of relevance for the understanding of regulatory mechanisms and diseases characterized by increased susceptibility to emotional distraction.
The effect of positive arousal on working memory,
Manipulation of emotional conditions triggers neuro-chemical mechanisms and cause to release dopamine, epinephrine and glucose. These neurotransmitters related to memory process through central or peripheral receptors. In this study the effects of pleasant arousal which was the result of watching special films, was investigated on working memory based on gender. 60 volunteers (30 men, 30 women) who were selected among undergraduate students from Tehran and Tarbiyat Modares Universities were accidentally divided into two groups. They completed a working memory scale. Each group watched one of the emotional or neutral films. Immediately after watching the film, the working memory scale was being done as a post-test. In order to assess the effect of positive arousal on working memory, first the difference between the scores of pre-test and post-test was assessed and then they were compared using independent t-test. The results were significantly higher in experimental group compare to the control group and show that positive emotional arousal enhances working memory.
The neural bases of emotion regulation,
Abstract Emotions are powerful determinants of behaviour, thought and experience, and they may be regulated in various ways. Neuroimaging studies have implicated several brain regions in emotion regulation, including the ventral anterior cingulate and ventromedial prefrontal cortices, as well as the lateral prefrontal and parietal cortices. Drawing on computational approaches to value-based decision-making and reinforcement learning, we propose a unifying conceptual framework for understanding the neural bases of diverse forms of emotion regulation.
A research of the selective effects of positive emotion on verbal and spatial working memory
Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory,
Fluid intelligence (Gf) refers to the ability to reason and to solve new problems independently of previously acquired knowledge. Gf is critical for a wide variety of cognitive tasks, and it is considered one of the most important factors in learning. Moreover, Gf is closely related to professional and educational success, especially in complex and demanding environments. Although performance on tests of Gf can be improved through direct practice on the tests themselves, there is no evidence that training on any other regimen yields increased Gf in adults. Furthermore, there is a long history of research into cognitive training showing that, although performance on trained tasks can increase dramatically, transfer of this learning to other tasks remains poor. Here, we present evidence for transfer from training on a demanding working memory task to measures of Gf. This transfer results even though the trained task is entirely different from the intelligence test itself. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the extent of gain in intelligence critically depends on the amount of training: the more training, the more improvement in Gf. That is, the training effect is dosage-dependent. Thus, in contrast to many previous studies, we conclude that it is possible to improve Gf without practicing the testing tasks themselves, opening a wide range of applications.
The role of individual differences in cognitive training and transfer,
Working memory (WM) training has recently become a topic of intense interest and controversy. Although several recent studies have reported near- and far-transfer effects as a result of training WM-related skills, others have failed to show far transfer, suggesting that generalization effects are elusive. Also, many of the earlier intervention attempts have been criticized on methodological grounds. The present study resolves some of the methodological limitations of previous studies and also considers individual differences as potential explanations for the differing transfer effects across studies. We recruited intrinsically motivated participants and assessed their need for cognition (NFC; Cacioppo & Petty Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 42:116 131, 1982 ) and their implicit theories of intelligence (Dweck, 1999 ) prior to training. We assessed the efficacy of two WM interventions by comparing participants improvements on a battery of fluid intelligence tests against those of an active control group. We observed that transfer to a composite measure of fluid reasoning resulted from both WM interventions. In addition, we uncovered factors that contributed to training success, including motivation, need for cognition, preexisting ability, and implicit theories about intelligence.
Differential age effects in load-dependent memory processing,
Abstract This study examined differential age effects in a young and a middle-aged sample by means of a sequential n-back task with increasing memory load. Participants processed two streams of stimuli either separately as a single task, or simultaneously as a dual task. We investigated age effects as a function of memory load in both the single and the dual-task version. In accuracy, we observed differential age effects as a function of load, which were more prominent in the dual-compared to the single-task versions. That is, middle-aged participants performed poorer than young adults in the dual-task conditions, suggesting that early age-related changes become especially apparent in conditions where task coordination and resource sharing come into play. Regarding latencies, we observed no differential age effect, which we believe is due to characteristics of the sequential n-back task.
The relationship between n-back performance and matrix reasoning— implications for training and transfer,
Sticky thoughts: depression and rumination are associated with difficulties manipulating emotional material in working memory,
Effectiveness of self-training using the mobile-based virtual reality program in patients with social anxiety disorder,
Behavioral and neural correlates of executive function: interplay between inhibition and updating processes,
The overflowing brain: Information overload and the limits of working memory,
Computerized training of working memory in children with ADHD--A randomized, controlled trial,
Sequential task predictability in task switching,
Many studies of task switching have found that a prolonged preparation time reduces switch costs. An alternative manipulation of task preparation is based on sequential task predictability, rather than preparation time. In Experiments 1 and 2 of the present study, participants performed explicitly instructed task sequences (i.e., AABB) and were then transferred to a random sequence. The observed benefit of predictability-based task preparation was not switch specific. In Experiment 3, the participants changed from random to predictable tasks. The observed predictability benefit again was not switch specific. The data thus suggest that task switching does not necessarily require a switch-specific reconfiguration process. Rather, task-specific control processes may be needed in both task switches and repetitions.
Threat-evoked anxiety disrupts spatial working memory performance: an attentional account,
It is proposed that threat-evoked anxiety and spatial Working Memory (WM) rely on a common visuospatial attention mechanism. A prediction of this hypothesis is that spatial but not verbal WM should be disrupted in conditions of threat anxiety. Participants performed verbal and spatial n -back WM tasks in the presence or absence of threat of shock (shocks were not delivered). The presence of anxiety was assessed via heart rate recordings and self-report. Both measures clearly distinguished between WM blocks associated with threat of shock (Threat) and blocks, in which threat was absent (Safety). Performance on the spatial WM task was impaired in Threat relative to Safety. Furthermore, the more anxiety participants reported and the higher their heart rate in Threat compared to Safety, the more impaired was their spatial WM performance. This effect was not observed for verbal WM. The results indicate selective disruption of spatial WM performance by threat-evoked anxiety, interpreted in terms of more overlap in visuospatial attention between anxiety and spatial WM vs. anxiety and verbal WM.
Dual n-back training increases the capacity of the focus of attention,
Working memory (WM) training has been reported to benefit abilities as diverse as fluid intelligence (Jaeggi et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105:6829–6833, 2008 ) and reading comprehension (Chein & Morrison, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 17:193–199, 2010 ), but transfer is not always observed (for reviews, see Morrison & Chein, Psychonomics Bulletin & Review, 18:46–60, 2011 ; Shipstead et al., Psychological Bulletin, 138:628–654, 2012 ). In contrast, recent WM training studies have consistently reported improvement on the trained tasks. The basis for these training benefits has received little attention, however, and it is not known which WM components and/or processes are being improved. Therefore, the goal of the present study was to investigate five possible mechanisms underlying the effects of adaptive dual n -back training on working memory (i.e., improvements in executive attention, updating, and focus switching, as well as increases in the capacity of the focus of attention and short-term memory). In addition to a no-contact control group, the present study also included an active control group whose members received nonadaptive training on the same task. All three groups showed significant improvements on the n -back task from pretest to posttest, but adaptive training produced larger improvements than did nonadaptive training, which in turn produced larger improvements than simply retesting. Adaptive, but not nonadaptive, training also resulted in improvements on an untrained running span task that measured the capacity of the focus of attention. No other differential improvements were observed, suggesting that increases in the capacity of the focus of attention underlie the benefits of adaptive dual n -back training.
Effects of working memory training on cognition and brain plasticity
Subsystems in visual working memory
Selective attention and emotional vulnerability: Assessing the causal basis of their association through the experimental manipulation of attentional bias,
Parallel processing in visual short-term memory,
Visual for the contrast and spatial frequency of sinusoidal gratings was measured in a delayed discrimination task in which the 2 stimuli to be compared were separated in time by 1-10 s interstimulus intervals (ISIs). Delayed discrimination thresholds for spatial frequency and contrast were compared, both when the 2 types of thresholds were measured in separate blocks of trials and when the 2 types of measures were randomly intermixed in an uncertainty paradigm, which required participants to process information about both dimensions on each trial. In both cases, accuracy of for spatial frequency was independent of ISI, but for contrast decreased as ISI increased. Performance was lower in the uncertainty case, but only by an amount predicted by statistical decision theory for independent sources. The results are consistent with a model assuming a set of parallel special-purpose visual discrimination and mechanisms.
Is working memory training effective? A meta-analytic review,
Working memory training does not improve performance on measures of intelligence or other measures of “far transfer”: Evidence from a meta-analytic review,
Mobile mindfulness intervention on an acute psychiatric unit: Feasibility and acceptability study,
Memory updating in working memory: The role of the central executive,
Abstract Two experiments are reported which suggest that a dynamic memory updating task, running memory, requires two independent mechanisms the articulatory loop and a component of the central executive. Experiment 1 shows that irrelevant speech and articulatory suppression impair the serial recall component of the running memory task but not the updating component. Updating memory affects performance independently of the effects of irrelevant speech and suppression. The second experiment produced the same pattern of results with a close to span memory load. These results are interpreted in terms of the working memory model outlined by Baddeley (1986). It is concluded that the updating of working memory in real time is coordinated by a central executive component of the model.
Development of an evidence-based intervention program for patients with mild cognitive impairment after stroke: A home-based, online cognitive rehabilitation program,
Training working memory to reduce rumination,
Cognitive symptoms of depression, such as rumination, have shown to be associated with deficits in working memory functioning. More precisely, the capacity to expel irrelevant negative information from working memory seems to be affected. Even though these associations have repeatedly been demonstrated, the nature and causal direction of this association is still unclear. Therefore, within an experimental design, we tried to manipulate working memory functioning of participants with heightened rumination scores in two similar experiments (n66=6672 and n66=6645) using a six day working memory training compared to active and passive control groups. Subsequently the effects on the processing of non-emotional and emotional information in working memory were monitored. In both experiments, performance during the training task significantly increased, but this performance gain did not transfer to the outcome working memory tasks or rumination and depression measures. Possible explanations for the failure to find transfer effects are discussed.
Effects of inflation on the subjective value of delayed and probabilistic rewards,
In the years prior to 1994, there were very high rates of inflation in Poland, and the zloty depreciated relative to the U.S. dollar. However, the new zloty, introduced in 1995, was associated with greatly decreased rates of inflation and provided a more stable currency. We report a series of three experiments that take advantage of these changes to examine the effects of inflation on the subjective value of delayed and probabilistic rewards. Subjects were Polish citizens familiar with both zlotys and dollars. The first two experiments, conducted in 1994, used dollars and old zlotys, and the third experiment, conducted in 1996, used dollars and new zlotys. In all three experiments, the dollar and zloty rewards were of equivalent worth, according to the then current exchange rates. In Experiment 1, subjects chose between immediate and delayed rewards and, in Experiment 2, chose between certain and probabilistic rewards. The subjective value of a delayed reward was greater when its amount was specified in dollars than when it was specified in old zlotys. In contrast, the currency in which a reward was specified had no effect on the subjective value of probabilistic rewards. The results of these two experiments suggest a selective effect of inflation on decisions involving delayed rewards. This was verified in the third experiment, in which, using new zlotys, no differences in discounting were observed between the two currencies with either probabilistic or delayed rewards. Importantly, in all three experiments, the discounting of both delayed and probabilistic rewards was well described by the same simple mathematical model, suggesting that similar decision-making processes underlie both phenomena. However, the present results argue against a single-process theory in which the discounting of probabilistic rewards is derived from the discounting of delayed rewards.
Working memory training in mental disorders
Adaptive vs.non-adaptive cognitive training by means of a personalized App: a randomized trial in people with multiple sclerosis,
Stimuli and predictatility in task switching
No evidence of intelligence improvement after working memory training: A randomized, placebo-controlled study,
Adaptive working memory training reveals a negligible effect of emotional stimuli over cognitive processing,
An App a day keeps the doctor away: Guided education and training via smartphones in subthreshold post traumatic stress disorder,
Transfer after dual n-back training depends on striatal activation change,
Training working memory to improve attentional control in anxiety: A proof-of-principle study using behavioral and electrophysiological measures,
Feasibility of PRIME: A cognitive neuroscience-informed mobile App intervention to enhance motivated behavior and improve quality of life in recent onset schizophrenia,
A task is a task is a task: putting complex span, n-back, and other working memory indicators in psychometric context,
Does working memory training transfer? A meta-analysis including training conditions as moderators,
Training the emotional brain: improving affective control through emotional working memory training,
Extending brain-training to the affective domain: Increasing cognitive and affective executive control through emotional working memory training,
Using path analysis to understand executive function organization in preschool children,
Abstract There continues to be no consensus definition of executive functions. One way to understand different executive function components is to study abilities at their emergence, that is, early in development, and use advanced statistical methods to understand the interrelations among executive processes. However, to fully determine the constructs of interest, these methods often require complete data on a large battery of tasks, which are difficult to obtain with young children. Path analysis is an alternative statistical technique that requires only a single measure of each construct, yet still allows researchers to investigate complex relations among measures, to compare nested models, and to compare model fit across groups. Therefore, 117 preschool children (ages 2 years 8 months to 6 years 0 months) completed several executive function tasks. Path analysis was used to determine the relations between complex problem solving and working memory, inhibition, and set shifting processes. The best-fitting model included paths from working memory and inhibition to problem solving, and a correlation between working memory and inhibition. Interestingly, in younger children, inhibition was the strongest predictor of problem solving, whereas working memory contributed more strongly in older children. Suggestions for useful statistical methods to investigate the relations among executive functions in children are discussed.
Anxiety selectively disrupts visuospatial working memory,
On the basis of a review of the extant literature describing emotion-cognition interactions, the authors propose 4 methodological desiderata for studying how task-irrelevant affect modulates cognition and present data from an experiment satisfying them. Consistent with accounts of the hemispheric asymmetries characterizing withdrawal-related negative affect and visuospatial working memory (WM) in prefrontal and parietal cortices, threat-induced anxiety selectively disrupted accuracy of spatial but not verbal WM performance. Furthermore, individual differences in physiological measures of anxiety statistically mediated the degree of disruption. A second experiment revealed that individuals characterized by high levels of behavioral inhibition exhibited more intense anxiety and relatively worse spatial WM performance in the absence of threat, solidifying the authors' inference that anxiety causally mediates disruption. These observations suggest a revision of extant models of how anxiety sculpts cognition and underscore the utility of the desiderata.
Working memory updating and training in test anxiety
Does working memory training generalize?,
Recently, attempts have been made to alter the capacity of working memory (WMC) through extensive practice on adaptive working memory tasks that adjust difficulty in response to user performance. We discuss the design criteria required to claim validity as well as generalizability and how recent studies do or do not satisfy those criteria. It is concluded that, as of yet, the results are inconsistent and this is likely driven by inadequate controls and ineffective measurement of the cognitive abilities of interest.
Is working memory training effective?,
Working memory (WM) is a cognitive system that strongly relates to a person's ability to reason with novel information and direct attention to goal-relevant information. Due to the central role that WM plays in general cognition, it has become the focus of a rapidly growing training literature that seeks to affect broad cognitive change through prolonged training on WM tasks. Recent work has suggested that the effects of WM training extend to general fluid intelligence, attentional control, and reductions in symptoms of ADHD. We present a theoretically motivated perspective of WM and subsequently review the WM training literature in light of several concerns. These include (a) the tendency for researchers to define change to abilities using single tasks, (b) inconsistent use of valid WM tasks, (c) no-contact control groups, and (d) subjective measurement of change. The literature review highlights several findings that warrant further research but ultimately concludes that there is a need to directly demonstrate that WM capacity increases in response to training. Specifically, we argue that transfer of training to WM must be demonstrated using a wider variety of tasks, thus eliminating the possibility that results can be explained by task specific learning. Additionally, we express concern that many of the most promising results (e.g., increased intelligence) cannot be readily attributed to changes in WM capacity. Thus, a critical goal for future research is to uncover the mechanisms that lead to transfer of training.
Interference in immediate spatial memory,
It has been suggested that maintenance in visuospatial immediate memory involves implicit motor processes that are analogous to the articulatory loop in verbal memory. An alternative account, which is explored here, is that maintenance is based on shifts of spatial attention. In four experiments, subjects recalled spatial memory span items after an interval, and in a fifth experiment, digit span was recalled after an interval. The tasks carried out during the interval included touching visual targets, repeating heard words, listening to tones from spatially sepa-rated locations, pointing to these tones, pointing to visual targets, and categorizing spatial tar-gets as being from the left or right. Spatial span recall was impaired if subjects saw visual tar-gets or heard tones, and this impairment was increased if either a motor response or a categorical response was made. Repeating words heard in different spatial locations did not impair recall, but reading visually presented words did interfere. For digit span only, the tasks involving a verbal response impaired recall. The results are interpreted within a framework in which active spatial attention is involved in maintaining spatial items in order in memory, and is interfered with by any task (visual, auditory, perceptual, motor) that also makes demands on spatial attention.
The evolution and application of N-back paradigm
Working memory training revisited: A multi-level meta-analysis of n-back training studies,
The efficacy of working memory (WM) training has been a controversial and hotly debated issue during the past years. Despite a large number of training studies and several meta-analyses, the matter has not yet been solved. We conducted a multi-level meta-analysis on the cognitive transfer effects in healthy adults who have been administered WM updating training with n-back tasks, the most common experimental WM training paradigm. Thanks to this methodological approach that has not been employed in previous meta-analyses in this field, we were able to include effect sizes from all relevant tasks used in the original studies. Altogether 203 effect sizes were derived from 33 published, randomized, controlled trials. In contrast to earlier meta-analyses, we separated task-specific transfer (here untrained n-back tasks) from other WM transfer tasks. Two additional cognitive domains of transfer that we analyzed consisted of fluid intelligence (Gf) and cognitive control tasks. A medium-sized transfer effect was observed to untrained n-back tasks. For other WM tasks, Gf, and cognitive control, the effect sizes were of similar size and very small. Moderator analyses showed no effects of age, training dose, training type (single vs. dual), or WM and Gf transfer task contents (verbal vs. visuospatial). We conclude that a substantial part of transfer following WM training with the n-back task is task-specific and discuss the implications of the results to WM training research.
Pattern of near transfer effects following working memory training with a dual n-back task,
Studies of interference in serial verbal reactions,
Elsevier’s Scopus, the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature. Search and access research from the science, technology, medicine, social sciences and arts and humanities fields.
Control of interference during working memory updating,
Working memory training improves emotional states of healthy individuals,
Working memory (WM) capacity is associated with various emotional aspects, including states of depression and stress, reactions to emotional stimuli, and regulatory behaviors. We have previously investigated the effects of WM training (WMT) on cognitive functions and brain structures. However, the effects of WMT on emotional states and related neural mechanisms among healthy young adults remain unknown. In the present study, we investigated these effects in young adults who underwent WMT or received no intervention for 4 weeks. Before and after the intervention, subjects completed self-report questionnaires related to their emotional states and underwent scanning sessions in which brain activities related to negative emotions were measured. Compared with controls, subjects who underwent WMT showed reduced anger, fatigue, and depression. Furthermore, WMT reduced activity in the left posterior insula during tasks evoking negative emotion, which was related to anger. It also reduced activity in the left frontoparietal area. These findings show that WMT can reduce negative mood and provide new insight into the clinical applications of WMT, at least among subjects with preclinical-level conditions.
Does working memory training have to be adaptive?,
This study tested the common assumption that, to be most effective, working memory (WM) training should be adaptive (i.e., task difficulty is adjusted to individual performance). Indirect evidence for this assumption stems from studies comparing adaptive training to a condition in which tasks are practiced on the easiest level of difficulty only [cf. Klingberg (Trends Cogn Sci 14:317 324, 2010 )], thereby, however, confounding adaptivity and exposure to varying task difficulty. For a more direct test of this hypothesis, we randomly assigned 130 young adults to one of the three WM training procedures (adaptive, randomized, or self-selected change in training task difficulty) or to an active control group. Despite large performance increases in the trained WM tasks, we observed neither transfer to untrained structurally dissimilar WM tasks nor far transfer to reasoning. Surprisingly, neither training nor transfer effects were modulated by training procedure, indicating that exposure to varying levels of task difficulty is sufficient for inducing training gains.
Effects and mechanisms of working memory training: A review,
Abstract Can cognitive abilities such as reasoning be improved through working memory training? This question is still highly controversial, with prior studies providing contradictory findings. The lack of theory-driven, systematic approaches and (occasionally serious) methodological shortcomings complicates this debate even more. This review suggests two general mechanisms mediating transfer effects that are (or are not) observed after working memory training: enhanced working memory capacity, enabling people to hold more items in working memory than before training, or enhanced efficiency using the working memory capacity available (e.g., using chunking strategies to remember more items correctly). We then highlight multiple factors that could influence these mechanisms of transfer and thus the success of training interventions. These factors include (1) the nature of the training regime (i.e., intensity, duration, and adaptivity of the training tasks) and, with it, the magnitude of improvements during training, and (2) individual differences in age, cognitive abilities, biological factors, and motivational and personality factors. Finally, we summarize the findings revealed by existing training studies for each of these factors, and thereby present a roadmap for accumulating further empirical evidence regarding the efficacy of working memory training in a systematic way.
Emotional working memory training as an online intervention for adolescent anxiety and depression: A randomised controlled trial,
Choline and working memory training improve cognitive deficits caused by prenatal exposure to ethanol,
The pilot establishment and evaluation of Chinese affective words system
A working memory training to decrease rumination in depressed and anxious Individuals: A double-blind randomized controlled trial,
Can impaired working memory functioning be improved by training? A Meta-Analysis with a special focus on brain injured patients,
The emotional stroop task and psychopathology,
Attentional bias is a central feature of many cognitive theories of psychopathology. One of the most frequent methods of investigating such bias has been an emotional analog of the Stroop task. In this task, participants name the colors in which words are printed, and the words vary in their relevance to each theme of psychopathology. The authors review research showing that patients are often slower to name the color of a word associated with concerns relevant to their clinical condition. They address the causes and mechanisms underlying the phenomenon, focusing on J.D. Cohen, K. Dunbar, and J.L. McClelland's (1990) parallel distributed processing model.
Working memory training improves emotion regulation ability: Evidence from HRV,
Abstract Emotion regulation during social situations plays a pivotal role in health and interpersonal functioning. In this study, we propose a working memory training approach to improve emotion regulation ability. This training promotes an updating function that is a crucial modulated process for emotion regulation. In the present study, the participants in the training group completed a running memory task over 20 days of training. Their working memory capability and high-frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV) data on pretest and posttest were assessed and analyzed. Compared with the control group, the training group's reaction time in the 2-back working memory task was reduced significantly. In addition, the HF-HRV in the emotion regulation condition was increased after the 20-day training, which indicates that the working memory training effect could transfer to emotion regulation. In other words, working memory training improved emotion regulation ability. Copyright 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Sub-function evaluation method of central executive system in working memory
The emotional stroop effect: Evidence from Chinese characters
Brief introduction of POMS scale and its model for China
版权所有 © 《心理学报》编辑部