Upset and Unfocused: ADHD symptoms and cognitive abilities as moderators for working memory performance under varying levels of emotional load

Hannah Weisman, Svetha Mohan, Evan Bowman
ADHD symptoms are prevalent among college students and frequently cause executive function (EF) impairments. While EF impairments are well studied in this population, the interaction between emotional arousal/mood, working memory (WM), ADHD symptoms and cognitive abilities (CA) still remains unclear. Methods: 50 undergraduate participants' ADHD symptoms and EF were assessed through cognitive assessments and behavioral questionnaires before they completed WM tasks under varying levels of
more » ... ry-induced emotional load. Results: Participants with high ADHD symptoms and/or low CA struggled with the experimental WM task. Under emotional load, those with hyperactive-impulsive ADHD symptoms struggled with self-regulatory aspects of EF: producing more intrusions and recognition errors. The CA groups' deficits were tied closer to recall ability – with and without added load. Conclusion: These findings further support that there are many reasons for WM challenges and that there is no single assessment that can identify the underlying cause of these struggles.
doi:10.13016/uq9h-0j45 fatcat:nrmmhaxu5be2nmup3mgk2iawq4