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Article

A Battery of Cognitive Tasks for the Assessment of Non‑Affective and Affective Executive Functioning

The Russian Journal of Cognitive Science. 2019. Vol. 6. No. 3. P. 31-42.

Executive functions (EF) are a set of higher order cognitive processes that are engaged in a goal directed behaviour.
It has been suggested that these functions work differently depending on the type of stimuli (non-affective or affective). Although there are many studies where EF measures have been used for affective or non-affective stimuli, the obtained results do not provide the opportunity to directly compare the data from both measures. To address the problem, the present study aimed at presenting a new battery of cognitive tasks working with non-affective and affective stimuli. Thus, the n-back, Stroop and letter-number tasks were used to assess three core EF, namely updating, inhibition and shifting. New affective versions of the classical n-back, Stroop and letter-number tasks were created as well. Eighty-four participants completed a neutral version followed by the affective version of each task. The results showed a significant positive correlation between the neutral and affective versions in updating and shifting, but not inhibition. There were no significant differences in performance on the neutral and affective versions of updating, cost of inhibition and shift cost. More experiments should be conducted to further broaden the applicability of this novel approach in the assessment of EF in emotion-cognition interactions.