Mary Jo Larcom

Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (2)5.81 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Although previous research has shown that positive affect (PA) and negative affect (NA) modulate attentional functioning in distinct ways, few studies have considered whether the links between affect and attentional functioning may vary as a function of age. Using the Attention Network Test (Fan et al., 2002), we tested whether participants' current state of PA and NA influenced distinct attentional functions (i.e., alerting, orienting, and executive attention) and how the relationships between affective states and attentional functioning differ in younger (18-25 years) and older (60-85 years) age groups. While there were age differences in alerting efficiency, these age differences were mediated by PA, indicating that the higher state PA found in older adults may contribute to age differences in alerting. Furthermore, age group moderated the relationship between PA and orienting as well as NA and orienting. That is, higher levels of PA and lower levels of NA were associated with enhanced orienting efficiency in older adults. Neither PA nor NA had any influence on executive attention. The current results suggest that PA and NA may influence attentional functioning in distinct ways, but that these patterns may depend on age groups.
    Frontiers in Psychology 01/2012; 3:311. · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    Mary Jo Larcom, Derek M Isaacowitz
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    ABSTRACT: Previous research has suggested that emotion regulation improves with age. This study examined both age and individual differences in online emotion regulation after a negative mood induction. We found evidence that older adults were more likely to rapidly regulate their emotions than were younger adults. Moreover, older adults who rapidly regulated had lower trait anxiety and depressive symptoms and higher levels of optimism than their same-age peers who did not rapidly regulate. Measuring mood change over an extended time revealed that older rapid regulators still reported increased levels of positive affect over 20 min later, whereas young adult rapid regulators' moods had declined. These results highlight the importance of considering individual differences when examining age differences in online emotion regulation.
    The Journals of Gerontology Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 10/2009; 64(6):733-41. · 3.01 Impact Factor