Front Hum Neurosci 2016 15;10:581. Epub 2016 Nov 15.
Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Francisco San Francisco, CA, USA.
This study investigates the neural mechanisms of mood induced modulation of cognition, specifically, on reality monitoring abilities. Reality monitoring is the ability to accurately distinguish the source of self-generated information from externally-presented contextual information. When participants were in a positive mood, compared to a neutral mood, they significantly improved their source memory identification abilities, particularly for self-generated information. However, being in a negative mood had no effect on reality monitoring abilities. Additionally, when participants were in a positive mood state, they showed activation in several regions that predisposed them to perform better at reality monitoring. Specifically, positive mood induced activity within the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) was associated with improvements in subsequent identification of self-generated information, and positive mood induced activation within the striatum (putamen) facilitated better identification of externally-presented information. These findings indicate that regions within mPFC, PCC and striatum are sensitive to positive mood-cognition enhancing effects that enable participants to be better prepared for subsequent reality monitoring decision-making.