Modeling the Mechanisms of Emotion Effects on Cognition

AAAI Conferences 

Emotions exert profound influences on cognition in biological agents. This is particularly evident in decisionmaking. All of the processes mediating decision-making are affected by emotion: attention, perception, situation assessment, goal-management and action selection, as well as the associated memory processes. Emotion effects, and the associated affective decision biases and heuristics, can be adaptive or maladaptive, depending on their type, magnitude and context. For example, anxiety and fear are associated with preferential processing of high-threat stimuli. This is highly adaptive in situations where survival depends on quick detection of danger and appropriate reaction (e.g., avoid an approaching car that has swerved into your lane). The same bias can be maladaptive if neutral stimuli are judged to be threatening (e.g., a passing car is assumed to be on a collision course and causes you to swerve into a ditch.)