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Extending Brain-Training to the Affective Domain: Increasing Cognitive and Affective Executive Control through Emotional Working Memory Training

Figure 1

Emotional dual n-back block (n = 1).

The figure depicts a block of the emotional version of the dual n-back task (training task) where n = 1. The top row shows the sequence across trials (A, B, C, D, etc.) of visually presented stimuli in a 4×4 grid (the visual stimuli were presented on a standard 1280×1024 pixel computer display). A picture of a face appeared in one of the 16 possible grid positions on each trial. Simultaneously, with the presentation of these visual stimuli on the computer display, participants heard words over headphones (second row in the figure). Participants were required to indicate, by button press, whether the trial was a ‘target trial’ or not. Targets could be visual or auditory. In the example here, Trial C is a visual target. That is, the face in Trial C is presented in the same location as the face in Trial B (i.e., n = 1 positions back). Note, the faces are of different actors. For visual stimuli participants were asked to ignore the content of the image and solely attend to the location in which the images were presented. In the current example, Trial D was an auditory target trial because ‘Evil’ is the same word as the word presented in Trial C - n positions back (where n = 1). Each block consisted of 20+n trials.

Figure 1