Beliefs in being unlucky and deficits in executive functioning: an ERP study

Jaime Martín Del Campo Ríos, Giorgio Fuggetta, John Maltby

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There has been initial evidence to support the Dysexecutive Luck hypothesis, which proposes that beliefs in being unlucky are associated with deficits in executive functioning (Maltby et al., 2013). The present study tested the Dysexecutive Luck hypothesis by examining whether deficits in the early stage of top down attentional control led to an increase of neural activity in later stages of response related selection process among those who thought themselves to be unlucky. Individuals with these beliefs were compared to a control group using an Event-Related Potential (ERP) measure assessing underlying neural activity of semantic inhibition while completing a Stroop test. Results showed stronger main interference effects in the former group, via greater reaction times and a more negative distributed scalp late ERP component during incongruent trials in the time window of 450-780 ms post stimulus onset. Further, less efficient maintenance of task set among the former group was associated with greater late ERP response-related activation to compensate for the lack of top-down attentional control. These findings provide electrophysiological evidence to support the Dysexecutive Luck hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1007
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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