A preliminary investigation of childhood anxiety/depressive symptomatology and working memory across multiple units of analysis

Psychiatry Res. 2021 Apr:298:113786. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2021.113786. Epub 2021 Feb 10.


This exploratory study examined multiple units of working memory (WM) analysis in a transdiagnostic, treatment-seeking, pediatric sample. This included a) an electroencephalography marker of WM (coupling of theta and gamma oscillations [i.e., theta-gamma coupling] in frontal brain regions), b) WM test performance, and c) parent-reported WM symptoms. A composite score combining each of these units of analysis correlated with self-reported depressive and anxiety symptoms, with only theta-gamma coupling independently predicted anxiety/depressive symptoms. Results confirm prior findings on the association between WM and anxiety/depression, although the majority of this variance was explained by frontal theta-gamma coupling during WM demands.

Keywords: Anxiety, Depression; Theta-Gamma Coupling; Working Memory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety
  • Child
  • Electroencephalography
  • Frontal Lobe
  • Humans
  • Memory, Short-Term*
  • Theta Rhythm*