02.01 POST inhibitory control

Inhibitory Control and Mood Dynamics Linked to Psychological Resilience

New study reveals intricate link between psychological resilience, mood variations, and inhibitory control in an ecological setting. Notably, the connection between an individual’s capacity for inhibitory control and their day-to-day mood is significantly shaped by their underlying level of psychological resilience. This discovery underscores the complex interplay between cognitive functions and emotional reactions, providing invaluable insights into the manifestation of resilient behavior in daily life.


[Jerusalem, Israel] – Prof. Mor Nahum and Prof. Yafit Gilboa, along with their research team from the Faculty of Medicine at Hebrew University and the Medical Corps of IDF, have conducted a pioneering study shedding light on the intricate relationship between inhibitory control (IC), mood fluctuations, and psychological resilience.


The study, titled “Inhibitory Control and Mood in Relation to Psychological Resilience: An Ecological Momentary Assessment Study,” delved into the critical interplay between inhibitory control – an executive component which underlies our goal-directed behaviors – and the ability to adapt to adversity, a trait known as psychological, or mental, resilience. This research is the first of its kind to investigate daily variations in IC performance concerning resilience.


Importantly, the study was conducted in a unique field setting: among 144 female and male soldiers during basic combat training. Initial resilience measurements were obtained as a baseline. Participants then engaged in an ecological momentary assessment over a two-week period, using an app installed on their mobile phones. This assessment involved daily reporting of their momentary emotional state alongside short inhibitory control assessments conducted twice a day.


In a new revelation brought forth by comprehensive hierarchical linear modeling analysis, a pivotal discovery has emerged from recent research: psychological resilience plays a pivotal role as a moderator between momentary inhibitory control (IC) and mood dynamics.


This study uncovered a significant correlation: heightened IC performance was directly linked to an improved mood. However, this positive influence on momentary mood was exclusively observed among individuals who initially reported higher levels of psychological resilience. This finding sheds light on the crucial role of psychological resilience in determining how effectively inhibitory control impacts our day-to-day emotional state.


Prof. Nahum expressed, “Our study highlights a nuanced relationship between psychological resilience, inhibitory control, and daily mood fluctuations. The association between IC and mood is distinctly influenced by an individual’s baseline resilience levels, offering profound insights into the manifestation of resilient behavior in everyday life and novel understanding onto mechanisms of resilience.”


Prof. Gilboa further commented, “These findings significantly bolster cognitive control models of resilience, which, to our knowledge, were thus far only tested in lab settings. Here, we tested them ecologically and repeatedly, in field settings. Understanding how psychological resilience intertwines with cognitive processes in daily life can reshape our comprehension of resilient behavior, offering potential pathways for real-life applications.


This research not only advances our comprehension of psychological resilience but also underscores the intricate dynamics between cognitive mechanisms and emotional responses. The study’s implications hold promise for a range of fields, from mental health interventions to stress management strategies.


The research paper titled “Inhibitory Control and Mood in Relation to Psychological Resilience: An Ecological Momentary Assessment Study” is now available in Scientific Reports and can be accessed at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-023-40242-1



Mor Nahum1, Rachel‑Tzofia Sinvani1, Anat Afek1, Rina Ben Avraham1, Joshua T. Jordan2, Mattan S. Ben Shachar, Ariel Ben Yehuda4,5, Noa Berezin Cohen4, Alex Davidov6 & Yafit Gilboa1



1) Faculty of Medicine, School of Occupational Therapy, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

2) Department of Psychology, Dominican University of California, San Rafael, CA

3) Department of Health and Well-Being, Medical Corps, Israel Defense Forces (IDF)

4) “Shalvata” Mental Health Center, “Clalit” Health Services, Hod-Hasharon, Israel

5) Mental Health Section, Medical Services Center, Israel Defense Forces (IDF)


The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is Israel’s premier academic and research institution. With over 25,000 students from 90 countries, it is a hub for advancing scientific knowledge and holds a significant role in Israel’s civilian scientific research output, accounting for nearly 40% of it and has registered over 11,000 patents. The university’s faculty and alumni have earned eight Nobel Prizes and a Fields Medal, underscoring their contributions to ground-breaking discoveries. In the global arena, the Hebrew University ranks 86th according to the Shanghai Ranking. To learn more about the university’s academic programs, research initiatives, and achievements, visit the official website at http://new.huji.ac.il/en


Scroll to Top