We used the event-related potential technique to assess the influences of negative emotion on spatial and verbal working memory with a modified n-back task. In both spatial and verbal tasks, the anterior late positive component and the posterior P300 were affected by negative emotion. These effects were, however, greater in spatial tasks than in verbal ones. Especially, the parietal P300 was reduced by negative emotion in spatial tasks, but not in verbal tasks. Current density analysis revealed high current density in the frontal-parietal cortex, but only in the spatial tasks. The results suggest differential effects of negative emotion on spatial and verbal working memory and that the frontal-parietal cortex may be the area where negative emotion and spatial working memory interact.
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