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Behavioral Effects of Upper Respiratory Tract Illnesses: A Consideration of Possible Underlying Cognitive Mechanisms

School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Centre for Occupational and Health Psychology, 63 Park Place, Cardiff CF10 3AS, UK
Behav. Sci. 2012, 2(1), 38-49; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs2010038
Received: 17 February 2012 / Revised: 5 March 2012 / Accepted: 6 March 2012 / Published: 15 March 2012
Previous research has shown that both experimentally induced upper respiratory tract illnesses (URTIs) and naturally occurring URTIs influence mood and performance. The present study investigated possible cognitive mechanisms underlying the URTI-performance changes. Those who developed a cold (N = 47) had significantly faster, but less accurate, performance than those who remained healthy (N = 54). Illness had no effect on manipulations designed to influence encoding, response organisation (stimulus-response compatilibility) or response preparation. Similarly, there was no evidence that different components of working memory were impaired. Overall, the present research confirms that URTIs can have an effect on performance efficiency. Further research is required to identify the physiological and behavioral mechanisms underlying these effects. View Full-Text
Keywords: upper respiratory tract illness; common cold; reaction time; alertness; working memory upper respiratory tract illness; common cold; reaction time; alertness; working memory
MDPI and ACS Style

Smith, A.P. Behavioral Effects of Upper Respiratory Tract Illnesses: A Consideration of Possible Underlying Cognitive Mechanisms. Behav. Sci. 2012, 2, 38-49.

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