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EMOTION, AROUSAL AND MEMORY. Why emotion and memory? motivational foundations of cognition Neurologic links of memory and emotion Claims about emotion and memory Flashbulb memories Intrusion of memories for traumatic events Repression of memories for traumatic events?

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emotion arousal and memory
EMOTION, AROUSAL AND MEMORY
  • Why emotion and memory?
    • motivational foundations of cognition
    • Neurologic links of memory and emotion
    • Claims about emotion and memory
      • Flashbulb memories
      • Intrusion of memories for traumatic events
      • Repression of memories for traumatic events?
  • Cortical regions involved in emotional cognition
    • Limbic system
      • Amygdala and the Papez Circuit
    • Medial frontal cortex
      • Phineas Gage syndrome
    • fMRI activation
      • recent work at UF
a two factor approach to emotion
A TWO-FACTOR APPROACH TO EMOTION
  • Emotion as motivational “action dispositions” (Lang et al.)
    • Approach and avoidance= valence (pleasant / unpleasant)
    • Intensity= arousal (calm / aroused)
  • Norming the “emotional space” of stimuli

butter pretty hero person history cancer

Pleasant

unpleasant

Calm Aroused

slide3
How emotion could affect memory
    • Attentional focus and intensity
    • Encoding depth and elaboration
    • Degree of rehearsal and review
    • Rate or extent of “consolidation”
    • Affect as retrieval cue
    • Inhibitory effect of stress?
  • Memory for emotional life events
    • Emotional public events
    • Traumatic personal experiences
    • Are unpleasant events ever less memorable?
      • Potential for selective rehearsal
      • The Pollyanna effect
      • Amnesia for highly traumatic events: Fugues and dissociative amnesia
main findings of research on emotion and memory
Main Findings of Research on Emotion and Memory
  • Arousal, more than valence, matters
    • For lab and life, pleasant and unpleasant events remembered better than neutral events
    • Differences for memory of pleasant & unpleasant events very domain-specific
  • Emotional arousal can act directly as well as indirectly

AMYG

HIPPOCAMPUS

Systemic

arousal

Release of stress

Hormones

(cortisol, adrenaline)

emotion and memory in the lab
EMOTION AND MEMORYIN THE LAB
  • Ebbinghaus (1885): emotional materials “more memorable”
  • Levinger & Clark (1961)
    • 30 neutral, 30 unpleasant words
    • Ss generate associates to each
    • Immediate recall of associates, given words, slower & less accurate for unpleasant words
    • So: repression of unpleasant events?
  • Bradley & Morris (1976)
    • Add pleasant words, delayed recall
    • Immediate recall worse for emotional words
    • Delayed recall better for emotional words
    • So, in LTM at least, a very typical “arousal” effect, with emotional words better remembered
erp s and emotional words
ERP’S AND EMOTIONAL WORDS
  • ERPs to emotional words
    • emotional words show an enhanced positivity c. 300-600 msec post-onset (e.g., Fischler et al.)
    • Effect is lost when looking only at words subsequently not recalled
slide7
The “attentional narrowing” hypothesis (Easterbook 1959: Cue Utilization)
    • Some evidence that stress narrows the “scope” of the spotlight
    • The “weapon focus” hypothesis (Christianson, 1990)Heuer & Reisberg (1990): emotion and “detail memory”arousing slide show(visit surgeon father, gory pics)neutral slide show(visit auto mechanic father) unexpected recall two weeks later: