Apr 13, 2021

Working memory training has the potential to reduce anxiety

Posted by in category: neuroscience

A recent study explored whether working memory training can reduce anxiety associated with a particular stressor — exam time. While working memory training did not appear to reduce test anxiety among students, perceived success during the training tasks did. The findings were published in the Journal of Cognitive Enhancement.

People who suffer from anxiety show deficits in working memory function. Working memory is a brain system that allows us to hold on to certain information and use it to guide our decisions and behavior. Scholars have found evidence to suggest that interventions that improve working memory also improve anxiety symptoms.

Little is known about how motivation might affect the success of working memory training on anxiety reduction. The authors of the new study elected to explore this topic among a sample of college students experiencing a particularly stressful season of the academic year — exam time.

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