Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2016

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Psychology & Neuroscience

First Advisor

Dr. Akira Miyake

Abstract

This study used a reaction time (RT) based keep-track task to investigate whether or not trait anxiety or depression are associated with working memory updating. The dependent variables were RT for within-trial update completion, RT and accuracy measures for probe response, and recall accuracy for the most recent words from each category. The effects of anxiety on within-trial update RT and probe response RT were not significant. However, there was a trend such that RT for completion of working memory updates was slower for subjects with higher levels of anxiety symptoms. Results indicate a relationship with trait depression such that that RT was significantly faster when the presented word was not relevant to the categories displayed in current length of trials. Final recall accuracy was high, and there was no association with anxiety or depression. Data collection is ongoing, and these relationships will likely become clearer as sample size increases.

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