MacKenzie, Graham; Powell, Tim F; Donaldson, David I
Despite widespread belief that memory is enhanced by emotion, evidence also suggests that emotion can impair memory. Here we test predictions inspired by object-based binding theory, which states that memory enhancement or impairment depends on the nature of the information to be retrieved. We investigated emotional memory in the context of source retrieval, using images of scenes that were negative, neutral or positive in valence. At study each scene was paired with a colour and during retrieval participants reported the source colour for recognised scenes. Critically, we isolated effects of valence by equating stimulus arousal across conditions. In Experiment 1 colour borders surrounded scenes at study: memory impairment was found for both negative and positive scenes. Experiment 2 used colours superimposed over scenes at study: valence affected source retrieval, with memory impairment for negative scenes only. These findings challenge current theories of emotional memory by showing that emotion can impair memory for both intrinsic and extrinsic source information, even when arousal is equated between emotional and neutral stimuli, and by dissociating the effects of positive and negative emotion on episodic memory retrieval.
Osaka, Mariko; Yaoi, Ken; Minamoto, Takehiro; Osaka, Naoyuki
The present study investigated when emotion modulates working memory from the perspective of neural activation. Using fMRI, we measured brain activity during the encoding and retrieval phases of a reading span test (RST) that used emotional contexts. The emotional RST required participants to read sentences that elicited negative, neural or positive emotional states while they were memorizing target words from the sentences. Compared with the neutral RST, the negative RST activated the right amygdala during the reading phase. Significant activation was also found in the parahippocampal gyrus, albeit only after activation of the amygdala became comparable to that in the neutral RST. In contrast, the positive RST activated the substantia nigra during the reading phase relative to the neutral RST. These findings suggest that negative and positive emotions modulate working memory through distinctive neural circuits. We also discuss possible relationships between emotional modulation and working memory capacity.
Martínez-Galindo, Joyce Graciela; Cansino, Selene
The aim of this study was to investigate whether the recognition of faces with neutral expressions differs when they are encoded under different emotional contexts (positive, negative or non-emotional). The effects of the emotional valence context on the subsequent memory effect (SME) and the autonomic responses were also examined. Twenty-eight participants performed a betting-game task in which the faces of their virtual opponents were presented in each trial. The probability of winning or losing was manipulated to generate positive or negative contexts, respectively. Additionally, the participants performed the same task without betting as a non-emotional condition. After the encoding phase, an old/new paradigm was performed for the faces of the virtual opponents. The recognition was superior for the faces encoded in the positive contexts than for the faces encoded in the non-emotional contexts. The skin conductance response amplitude was equivalent for both of the emotional contexts. The N170 and P300 components at occipital sites and the frontal slow wave manifested SMEs that were modulated by positive contexts; neither negative nor non-emotional contexts influenced these effects. The behavioral and neurophysiological data demonstrated that positive contexts are stronger predictors of episodic memory than negative or non-emotional contexts.
Gadeikis, Darius; Bos, Nikita; Schweizer, Susanne; Murphy, Fionnuala; Dunn, Barnaby
It is important to identify effective emotion regulation strategies to increase positive emotion experience in the general population and in clinical conditions characterized by anhedonia. There are indications that engaging in experiential processing (direct awareness of sensory and bodily experience) bolsters positive emotion experience but this has not been extensively tested during memory recall. To further test this notion, 99 community participants recalled two positive autobiographical memories. Prior to the second recall, participants either underwent an experiential, analytical, or distraction induction (n = 33 per condition). Subjective happiness and sadness ratings and heart rate variability (HRV) response were measured during each recall. Greater spontaneous use of experiential processing during the first memory was associated with greater happiness experience, but was unrelated to HRV and sadness experience. Inducing experiential processing increased happiness experience relative to both the analytical and distraction conditions (but had no impact on sadness experience). There was a significant difference in HRV between conditions. The experiential condition led to a trend-significant increase, and the other conditions a non-significant decrease, in HRV from the first to the second memory. These results suggest that engaging in experiential processing is an effective way to up-regulate positive emotion experience during positive memory recall.
Earles, Julie L.; Kersten, Alan W.; Vernon, Laura L.; Starkings, Rachel
When remembering an event, it is important to remember both the features of the event (e.g., a person and an action), and the connections among features (e.g., who performed which action). Emotion often enhances memory for stimulus features, but the relationship between emotion and the binding of features in memory is unclear. Younger and older adults attempted to remember events in which a person performed a negative, positive, or neutral action. Memory for the action was enhanced by emotion, but emotion did not enhance the ability of participants to remember which person performed which action. Older adults were more likely than younger adults to make binding errors in which they incorrectly remembered a familiar actor performing a familiar action that had actually been performed by someone else, and this age-related associative deficit was found for both neutral and emotional actions. Emotion increased correct recognition of old events for older and younger adults but also increased false recognition of events in which a familiar actor performed a familiar action that had been performed by someone else. Thus, although emotion may enhance memory for the features of an event, it does not increase the accuracy of remembering who performed which action. PMID:25622100
Cromheeke, Sofie; Herpoel, Laure-Anne; Mueller, Sven C
Childhood abuse is an important risk factor for depression, anxiety disorders, and substance use later in life. One possible mechanism underlying this association could be deficits in cognitive processing of emotional information. This study tested the impact of distracting emotional information on working memory performance in 21 young women with a history of sexual and physical abuse during childhood/adolescence (mean age = 20.0), and compared their performance to 17 individuals reporting nonabuse-related childhood stress (mean age = 19.6) and a control group of 17 women without a history of childhood stress (mean age = 20.0). During the most difficult distractor condition, working memory accuracy for positive versus neutral incidental emotional stimuli was reduced in women reporting a history of abuse relative to both control groups (with and without nonabuse-related childhood stress). The current results reveal aberrant responses to positive stimuli and are consistent with the notion of persistent influence of childhood abuse on processes critical for emotional well-being and emotion control.
Ortner, Catherine N. M.; de Koning, Monica
Previous research has suggested that regulating emotions through reappraisal does not incur cognitive costs. However, in those experiments, cognitive costs were often assessed by recognition memory for information that was contextually related to the emotionally evocative stimuli and may have been incorporated into the reappraisal script, facilitating memory. Furthermore, there is little research on the cognitive correlates of regulating positive emotions. In the current experiment, we tested memory for information that was contextually unrelated to the emotional stimuli and could not easily be related to the reappraisal. Participants viewed neutral and mildly positive slides and either reappraised, suppressed their emotions, or viewed the images with no emotion regulation instruction. At the same time, they heard abstract words that were unrelated to the picture stimuli. Subsequent verbal recognition memory was lower after reappraising than viewing, whereas non-verbal recognition memory (of the slides) was higher after reappraising, but only for positive pictures and when participants viewed the positive pictures first. Suppression had no significant effect on either verbal or non-verbal recognition scores, although there was a trend towards poorer recognition of verbal information. The findings support the notion that reappraisal is effortful and draws on limited cognitive resources, causing decrements in performance in a concurrent memory task. PMID:23658647
Ortner, Catherine N M; de Koning, Monica
Previous research has suggested that regulating emotions through reappraisal does not incur cognitive costs. However, in those experiments, cognitive costs were often assessed by recognition memory for information that was contextually related to the emotionally evocative stimuli and may have been incorporated into the reappraisal script, facilitating memory. Furthermore, there is little research on the cognitive correlates of regulating positive emotions. In the current experiment, we tested memory for information that was contextually unrelated to the emotional stimuli and could not easily be related to the reappraisal. Participants viewed neutral and mildly positive slides and either reappraised, suppressed their emotions, or viewed the images with no emotion regulation instruction. At the same time, they heard abstract words that were unrelated to the picture stimuli. Subsequent verbal recognition memory was lower after reappraising than viewing, whereas non-verbal recognition memory (of the slides) was higher after reappraising, but only for positive pictures and when participants viewed the positive pictures first. Suppression had no significant effect on either verbal or non-verbal recognition scores, although there was a trend towards poorer recognition of verbal information. The findings support the notion that reappraisal is effortful and draws on limited cognitive resources, causing decrements in performance in a concurrent memory task.
Grühn, Daniel; Smith, Jacqui; Baltes, Paul B
Some authors argue for a memory advantage of older adults for positively toned material. To investigate the contribution of selective processing to a positivity effect, the authors investigated young (n = 72, aged 18 to 31) and older (n = 72, aged 64 to 75) adults' memory for emotionally toned words using a multitrial paradigm that compares performance for heterogeneous (mixed valence) and homogeneous (single valence) lists. Regarding the age comparison, there was no evidence for an aging bias favoring positive material. Moreover, older adults' memory was less affected by emotion-based processing prioritization. Although there was no support for age-specific processing biases in memory for emotionally toned words, the findings are consistent with proposals that negative information receives processing priority in some contexts. Possible limits to the generalizability of the present findings (e.g., to nonverbal material) are discussed.
Studies have shown that emotion elicited after learning enhances memory consolidation. However, no prior studies have used facial photos as stimuli. This study examined the effect of post-learning positive emotion on consolidation of memory for faces. During the learning participants viewed neutral, positive, or negative faces. Then they were assigned to a condition in which they either watched a 9-minute positive video clip, or a 9-minute neutral video. Then 30 minutes after the learning participants took a surprise memory test, in which they made "remember", "know", and "new" judgements. The findings are: (1) Positive emotion enhanced consolidation of recognition for negative male faces, but impaired consolidation of recognition for negative female faces; (2) For males, recognition for negative faces was equivalent to that for positive faces; for females, recognition for negative faces was better than that for positive faces. Our study provides the important evidence that effect of post-learning emotion on memory consolidation can extend to facial stimuli and such an effect can be modulated by facial valence and facial gender. The findings may shed light on establishing models concerning the influence of emotion on memory consolidation.
Because emotions enhance memory processes and music evokes strong emotions, music could be involved in forming memories, either about pieces of music or about episodes and information associated with particular music. A recent study in BMC Neuroscience has given new insights into the role of emotion in musical memory.
Mammarella, Nicola; Di Domenico, Alberto; Palumbo, Rocco; Fairfield, Beth
Numerous studies have reported age-related differences in memory for emotional information. One explanation places emphasis on an emotion processing preference in older adults that reflects their socioemotional self-relevant goals. Here, we evaluate the degree to which this preference in memory may be modulated by color. In 2 experiments, younger and older adults were asked to study a series of affective words (Experiment 1) or affective pictures (Experiment 2) and then presented with an immediate yes/no memory recognition task. In particular, words and pictures were colored according to the following valence-color associations: positive-green, negative-red, and neutral-blue. Each study condition included both congruent (e.g., positive-green) and incongruent associations (e.g., positive-red). For both experiments, participants showed an advantage for congruent associations compared with other types of valence-color pairings that emphasized a robust joint effect of color and affective valence in memory. More specifically, older adults' memory was sensitive to positive-green stimuli only. We discussed results in line with mechanisms underlying positivity effects in memory and the effect of color on emotional memory encoding. (PsycINFO Database Record
Casasanto, Daniel; Dijkstra, Katinka
Can simple motor actions affect how efficiently people retrieve emotional memories, and influence what they choose to remember? In Experiment 1, participants were prompted to retell autobiographical memories with either positive or negative valence, while moving marbles either upward or downward. They retrieved memories faster when the direction…
Beneyto Molina, Vicent Blai; Fernández-Abascal, Enrique García
This work examines whether a positive personality trait, such as optimism, can reduce bias in differential words recalled after inducing a certain emotion. After showing a list of words with various emotional valences to a group of 59 subjects, a specific emotional state was induced. Subsequently, the subjects were asked to recall the list of words. The results obtained indicated that less optimistic subjects had a tendency to recall and recognize a greater number of negative words when in a negative emotional condition. Statistical significance was reached in the female group's negative word recognition when experiencing negative emotion.
Crowell, Adrienne; Schmeichel, Brandon J
Inspired by the elaborated intrusion theory of desire, the current research tested the hypothesis that persons higher in trait approach motivation process positive stimuli deeply, which enhances memory for them. Ninety-four undergraduates completed a measure of trait approach motivation, viewed positive or negative image slideshows in the presence or absence of a cognitive load, and one week later completed an image memory test. Higher trait approach motivation predicted better memory for the positive slideshow, but this memory boost disappeared under cognitive load. Approach motivation did not influence memory for the negative slideshow. The current findings support the idea that individuals higher in approach motivation spontaneously devote limited resources to processing positive stimuli.
Holland, Alisha C.; Kensinger, Elizabeth A.
Autobiographical memory encompasses our recollections of specific, personal events. In this article, we review the interactions between emotion and autobiographical memory, focusing on two broad ways in which these interactions occur. First, the emotional content of an experience can influence the way in which the event is remembered. Second, emotions and emotional goals experienced at the time of autobiographical retrieval can influence the information recalled. We discuss the behavioral manifestations of each of these types of interactions and describe the neural mechanisms that may support those interactions. We discuss how findings from the clinical literature (e.g., regarding depression) and the social psychology literature (e.g., on emotion regulation) might inform future investigations of the interplay between the emotions experienced at the time of retrieval and the memories recalled, and we present ideas for future research in this domain.
Holland, Alisha C.; Kensinger, Elizabeth A.
Autobiographical memory encompasses our recollections of specific, personal events. In this article, we review the interactions between emotion and autobiographical memory, focusing on two broad ways in which these interactions occur. First, the emotional content of an experience can influence the way in which the event is remembered. Second, emotions and emotional goals experienced at the time of autobiographical retrieval can influence the information recalled. We discuss the behavioral manifestations of each of these types of interactions and describe the neural mechanisms that may support those interactions. We discuss how findings from the clinical literature (e.g., regarding depression) and the social psychology literature (e.g., on emotion regulation) might inform future investigations of the interplay between the emotions experienced at the time of retrieval and the memories recalled, and we present ideas for future research in this domain. PMID:20374933
Kuriyama, Kenichi; Soshi, Takahiro; Fujii, Takeshi; Kim, Yoshiharu
The interaction between amygdala-driven and hippocampus-driven activities is expected to explain why emotion enhances episodic memory recognition. However, overwhelming behavioral evidence regarding the emotion-induced enhancement of immediate and delayed episodic memory recognition has not been obtained in humans. We found that the recognition performance for event memory differs from that for emotional memory. Although event recognition deteriorated equally for episodes that were or were not emotionally salient, emotional recognition remained high for only stimuli related to emotional episodes. Recognition performance pertaining to delayed emotional memory is an accurate predictor of the context of past episodes.
... of emotion, positive or negative, we experience. How Negative Emotions Help Us Negative emotions warn us of ... to our advantage: 1. Let Positive Emotions Outnumber Negative Ones When we feel more positive emotions than ...
Kuriyama, Kenichi; Soshi, Takahiro; Fujii, Takeshi; Kim, Yoshiharu
The interaction between amygdala-driven and hippocampus-driven activities is expected to explain why emotion enhances episodic memory recognition. However, overwhelming behavioral evidence regarding the emotion-induced enhancement of immediate and delayed episodic memory recognition has not been obtained in humans. We found that the recognition…
... of Healthy Breakfasts Shyness The Power of Positive Emotions KidsHealth > For Teens > The Power of Positive Emotions ... español El poder de las emociones positivas All Emotions Are Natural Let's say you start to brainstorm ...
Bookbinder, S H; Brainerd, C J
In prior work on how true and false memory are influenced by emotion, valence and arousal have often been conflated. Thus, it is difficult to say which specific effects are caused by valence and which are caused by arousal. In the present research, we used a picture-memory paradigm that allowed emotional valence to be manipulated with arousal held constant. Negatively valenced pictures elevated both true and false memory, relative to positive and neutral pictures. Conjoint recognition modeling revealed that negative valence (a) reduced erroneous suppression of true memories and (b) increased the familiarity of the semantic content of both true and false memories. Overall, negative valence impaired the verbatim side of episodic memory but enhanced the gist side, and these effects persisted even after a week-long delay. (PsycINFO Database Record
Laney, Cara; Loftus, Elizabeth F
Many people believe that emotional memories (including those that arise in therapy) are particularly likely to represent true events because of their emotional content. But is emotional content a reliable indicator of memory accuracy? The current research assessed the emotional content of participants' pre-existing (true) and manipulated (false) memories for childhood events. False memories for one of three emotional childhood events were planted using a suggestive manipulation and then compared, along several subjective dimensions, with other participants' true memories. On most emotional dimensions (e.g., how emotional was this event for you?), true and false memories were indistinguishable. On a few measures (e.g., intensity of feelings at the time of the event), true memories were more emotional than false memories in the aggregate, yet true and false memories were equally likely to be rated as uniformly emotional. These results suggest that even substantial emotional content may not reliably indicate memory accuracy.
El Haj, Mohamad; Nandrino, Jean-Louis; Antoine, Pascal; Boucart, Muriel; Lenoble, Quentin
This study assessed whether specific eye movement patterns are observed during emotional autobiographical retrieval. Participants were asked to retrieve positive, negative and neutral memories while their scan path was recorded by an eye-tracker. Results showed that positive and negative emotional memories triggered more fixations and saccades but shorter fixation duration than neutral memories. No significant differences were observed between emotional and neutral memories for duration and amplitude of saccades. Positive and negative retrieval triggered similar eye movement (i.e., similar number of fixations and saccades, fixation duration, duration of saccades, and amplitude of saccades). Interestingly, the participants reported higher visual imagery for emotional memories than for neutral memories. The findings demonstrate similarities and differences in eye movement during retrieval of neutral and emotional memories. Eye movement during autobiographical retrieval seems to be triggered by the creation of visual mental images as the latter are indexed by autobiographical reconstruction.
Kuhbandner, Christof; Pekrun, Reinhard
Numerous studies have shown that memory is enhanced for emotionally negative and positive information relative to neutral information. We examined whether emotion-induced memory enhancement is influenced by low-level perceptual attributes such as color. Because in everyday life red is often used as a warning signal, whereas green signals security, we hypothesized that red might enhance memory for negative information and green memory for positive information. To capture the signaling function of colors, we measured memory for words standing out from the context by color, and manipulated the color and emotional significance of the outstanding words. Making words outstanding by color strongly enhanced memory, replicating the well-known von Restorff effect. Furthermore, memory for colored words was further increased by emotional significance, replicating the memory-enhancing effect of emotion. Most intriguingly, the effects of emotion on memory additionally depended on color type. Red strongly increased memory for negative words, whereas green strongly increased memory for positive words. These findings provide the first evidence that emotion-induced memory enhancement is influenced by color and demonstrate that different colors can have different functions in human memory.
Fredrickson, Barbara L.
This article opens by noting that positive emotions do not fit existing models of emotions. Consequently, a new model is advanced to describe the form and function of a subset of positive emotions, including joy, interest, contentment, and love. This new model posits that these positive emotions serve to broaden an individual’s momentary thought–action repertoire, which in turn has the effect of building that individual’s physical, intellectual, and social resources. Empirical evidence to support this broaden-and-build model of positive emotions is reviewed, and implications for emotion regulation and health promotion are discussed. PMID:21850154
Stanley, Matthew L; Parikh, Natasha; Stewart, Gregory W; De Brigard, Felipe
Episodic counterfactual thoughts-imagined alternative ways in which personal past events might have occurred-are frequently accompanied by intense emotions. Here, participants recollected positive and negative autobiographical memories and then generated better and worse episodic counterfactual events from those memories. Our results suggest that the projected emotional intensity during the simulated remembered/imagined event is significantly higher than but typically positively related to the emotional intensity while remembering/imagining the event. Furthermore, repeatedly simulating counterfactual events heightened the emotional intensity felt while simulating the counterfactual event. Finally, for both the emotional intensity accompanying the experience of remembering/imagining and the projected emotional intensity during the simulated remembered/imagined event, the emotional intensity of negative memories was greater than the emotional intensity of upward counterfactuals generated from them but lower than the emotional intensity of downward counterfactuals generated from them. These findings are discussed in relation to clinical work and functional theories of counterfactual thinking.
Rendell, Peter G; Phillips, Louise H; Henry, Julie D; Brumby-Rendell, Tristan; de la Piedad Garcia, Xochitl; Altgassen, Mareike; Kliegel, Matthias
Emotional factors have been found to be an important influence on memory. The current study investigated the influence of emotional salience and age on a laboratory measure of prospective memory (PM); Virtual Week. Thirty young and 30 old adults completed Virtual Week, in which the emotional salience of the tasks at encoding was manipulated to be positive, negative or neutral in content. For event-based, but not time-based tasks, positivity enhancement in both age groups was seen, with a greater number of positive PM tasks being performed relative to neutral tasks. There was no negativity enhancement effect. Older adults showed generally poorer levels of PM, but they also demonstrated greater beneficial effects of positive valence compared to young. These effects of emotion on PM accuracy do not appear to reflect the retrospective component of the task as a different pattern of emotion effects was seen on the recall of PM content. Results indicate that older adults' difficulties in prospective remembering can be reduced where the tasks to be remembered are positive.
Talmi, Deborah; McGarry, Lucy M.
Memory for emotional events is usually very good even when tested shortly after study, before it is altered by the influence of emotional arousal on consolidation. Immediate emotion-enhanced memory may stem from the influence of emotion on cognitive processes at encoding and retrieval. Our goal was to test which cognitive factors are necessary and…
Satler, Corina; Tomaz, Carlos
Background Few studies have assessed whether emotional content affects processes supporting working memory in Alzheimer disease (AD) patients. Methods We assessed 22 AD patients and 40 elderly controls (EC) with a delayed matching and non-matching to sample task (DMST/DNMST), and a spatial-delayed recognition span task (SRST; unique/varied) using emotional stimuli. Results AD patients showed decreased performance on both tasks compared with EC. With regard to the valence of the stimuli, we did not observe significant performance differences between groups in the DMST/DNMST. However, both groups remembered a larger number of negative than positive or neutral pictures on unique SRST. Conclusion The results suggest that AD patients show a relative preservation of working memory for emotional information, particularly for negative stimuli. PMID:22163239
Miyamoto, Yuri; Ma, Xiaoming
Four studies examined the hypothesis that, although people may generally want to savor, rather than to dampen, their positive emotions (i.e., hedonic emotion regulation), such a hedonic emotion regulation tendency should be less pronounced for Easterners than for Westerners. Using retrospective memory procedures, Study 1 found that Easterners recalled engaging in hedonic emotion regulation less than Westerners did, even after controlling for their initial emotional reactions. Studies 2-3 showed that cultural differences in emotion regulation were mediated by dialectical beliefs about positive emotions. Study 4 replicated the findings by examining online reports of emotion regulation strategies on the day students received a good grade. Furthermore, there were cultural differences in actual emotion change over time, which was partly explained by dialectical beliefs about positive emotions. These findings highlight the active role cultural scripts play in shaping emotion regulation and emotional experiences.
Ge, Ruiyang; Fu, Yan; Wang, DaHua; Yao, Li; Long, Zhiying
Autobiographical memory is the ability to recollect past events from one's own life. Both emotional tone and memory remoteness can influence autobiographical memory retrieval along the time axis of one's life. Although numerous studies have been performed to investigate brain regions involved in retrieving processes of autobiographical memory, the effect of emotional tone and memory age on autobiographical memory retrieval remains to be clarified. Moreover, whether the involvement of hippocampus in consolidation of autobiographical events is time dependent or independent has been controversial. In this study, we investigated the effect of memory remoteness (factor1: recent and remote) and emotional valence (factor2: positive and negative) on neural correlates underlying autobiographical memory by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technique. Although all four conditions activated some common regions known as "core" regions in autobiographical memory retrieval, there are some other regions showing significantly different activation for recent versus remote and positive versus negative memories. In particular, we found that bilateral hippocampal regions were activated in the four conditions regardless of memory remoteness and emotional valence. Thus, our study confirmed some findings of previous studies and provided further evidence to support the multi-trace theory which believes that the role of hippocampus involved in autobiographical memory retrieval is time-independent and permanent in memory consolidation.
Leventon, Jacqueline S; Bauer, Patricia J
In the adult literature, emotional arousal is regarded as a source of the enhancing effect of emotion on subsequent memory. Here, we used behavioral and electrophysiological methods to examine the role of emotional arousal on subsequent memory in school-age children. Furthermore, we implemented a reappraisal instruction to manipulate (down-regulate) emotional arousal at encoding to examine the relation between emotional arousal and subsequent memory. Participants (8-year-old girls) viewed emotional scenes as electrophysiological (EEG) data were recorded and participated in a memory task 1 to 5days later where EEG and behavioral responses were recorded; participants provided subjective ratings of the scenes after the memory task. The reappraisal instruction successfully reduced emotional arousal responses to negative stimuli but not positive stimuli. Similarly, recognition performance in both event-related potentials (ERPs) and behavior was impaired for reappraised negative stimuli but not positive stimuli. The findings indicate that ERPs are sensitive to the reappraisal of negative stimuli in children as young as 8years. Furthermore, the findings suggest an interaction of emotion and memory during the school years, implicating the explanatory role of emotional arousal at encoding on subsequent memory performance in female children as young as 8years.
... Healthy Breakfasts Shyness 3 Ways to Increase Positive Emotions KidsHealth > For Teens > 3 Ways to Increase Positive ... to give yourself a boost. Track Your Positive Emotions Name the positive emotions you're already familiar ...
Howe, Mark L; Garner, Sarah R; Patel, Megan
Previous research is replete with examples of the negative consequences of false memories. In the current research, we provide a different perspective on false memories and their development and demonstrate that false memories can have positive consequences. Specifically, we examined the role false memories play in subsequent problem-solving tasks. Children and adults studied and recalled neutral or survival-relevant lists of associated words. They then solved age-normed compound remote associates, some of whose solutions had been primed by false memories created when studying the previous lists. The results showed that regardless of age: (a) survival-related words were not only better recollected but were also more susceptible than neutral words to false memory illusions; and (b) survival-related false memories were better than neutral false memories as primes for problem-solving. These findings are discussed in the context of recent speculation concerning the positive consequences of false memories, and the adaptive nature of reconstructive memory.
Waring, J D; Dimsdale-Zucker, H R; Flannery, S; Budson, A E; Kensinger, E A
Young and older adults experience benefits in attention and memory for emotional compared to neutral information, but this memory benefit is greatly diminished in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Little is known about whether this impairment arises early or late in the time course between healthy aging and AD. This study compared memory for positive, negative, and neutral items with neutral backgrounds between patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and healthy older adults. We also used a divided attention condition in older adults as a possible model for the deficits observed in MCI patients. Results showed a similar pattern of selective memory for emotional items while forgetting their backgrounds in older adults and MCI patients, but MCI patients had poorer memory overall. Dividing attention during encoding disproportionately reduced memory for backgrounds (versus items) relative to a full attention condition. Participants performing in the lower half on the divided attention task qualitatively and quantitatively mirrored the results in MCI patients. Exploratory analyses comparing lower- and higher-performing MCI patients showed that only higher-performing MCI patients had the characteristic scene memory pattern observed in healthy older adults. Together, these results suggest that the effects of emotion on memory are relatively well preserved for patients with MCI, although emotional memory patterns may start to be altered once memory deficits become more pronounced.
Ford, Jaclyn Hennessey; Addis, Donna Rose; Giovanello, Kelly S.
Autobiographical memories are characterized by a range of emotions and emotional reactions. Recent research has demonstrated that differences in emotional valence (positive v. negative emotion) and arousal (the degree of emotional intensity) differentially influence the retrieved memory narrative. Although the mnemonic effects of valence and arousal have both been heavily studied, it is currently unclear whether the effects of emotional arousal are equivalent for positive and negative autobiographical events. In the current study, multilevel models were used to examine differential effects emotional valence and arousal on the richness of autobiographical memory retrieval both between and within subjects. Thirty-four young adults were asked to retrieve personal autobiographical memories associated with popular musical cues and to rate the valence, arousal, and richness of these events. The multilevel analyses identified independent influences of valence and intensity upon retrieval characteristics at the within and between subject levels. In addition, the within subject interactions between valence and arousal highlighted differential effects of arousal for positive and negative memories. These findings have important implications for future studies of emotion and memory, highlighting the importance of considering both valence and arousal when examining the role emotion plays in the richness of memory representation. PMID:22873402
Mather, Mara; Knight, Marisa
The present study revealed that older adults recruit cognitive control processes to strengthen positive and diminish negative information in memory. In Experiment 1, older adults engaged in more elaborative processing when retrieving positive memories than they did when retrieving negative memories. In Experiment 2, older adults who did well on tasks involving cognitive control were more likely than those doing poorly to favor positive pictures in memory. In Experiment 3, older adults who were distracted during memory encoding no longer favored positive over negative pictures in their later recall, revealing that older adults use cognitive resources to implement emotional goals during encoding. In contrast, younger adults showed no signs of using cognitive control to make their memories more positive, indicating that, for them, emotion regulation goals are not chronically activated.
Dieleman, Sieds; van der Veen, Frederik; van Beveren, Nico; Röder, Christian
Although patients with schizophrenia have severe memory impairments and emotional deficits, studies investigating emotional memory modulation (EMM) in schizophrenia show contradictory results, possibly due to methodological differences and small group size. We investigated whether impaired EMM is already present in First Episode Psychosis (FEP) and whether impairments in EMM are task or stimulus dependent. Forty-five FEP and thirty-seven Healthy Control (HC) male participants matched for age performed visual and verbal short-term (immediate recall) and long-term (after 24h recognition) memory tasks with neutral, negative and positive stimuli. On all tasks overall memory performance for FEP was significantly below that of HC. Although EMM varied by task and type of stimulus, none of the tasks showed a difference in EMM between FEP and HC. There were no differences between FEP and HC in the way emotion modulates different memory domains. This could mean that EMM is spared in the early course of schizophrenia.
Mills, Mark; Gonzalez, Frank J; Giuseffi, Karl; Sievert, Benjamin; Smith, Kevin B; Hibbing, John R; Dodd, Michael D
Variation in political ideology has been linked to differences in attention to and processing of emotional stimuli, with stronger responses to negative versus positive stimuli (negativity bias) the more politically conservative one is. As memory is enhanced by attention, such findings predict that memory for negative versus positive stimuli should similarly be enhanced the more conservative one is. The present study tests this prediction by having participants study 120 positive, negative, and neutral scenes in preparation for a subsequent memory test. On the memory test, the same 120 scenes were presented along with 120 new scenes and participants were to respond whether a scene was old or new. Results on the memory test showed that negative scenes were more likely to be remembered than positive scenes, though, this was true only for political conservatives. That is, a larger negativity bias was found the more conservative one was. The effect was sizeable, explaining 45% of the variance across subjects in the effect of emotion. These findings demonstrate that the relationship between political ideology and asymmetries in emotion processing extend to memory and, furthermore, suggest that exploring the extent to which subject variation in interactions among emotion, attention, and memory is predicted by conservatism may provide new insights into theories of political ideology.
Alonso, Irene; Dellacherie, Delphine; Samson, Séverine
The emotions evoked by music can enhance recognition of excerpts. It has been suggested that memory is better for high than for low arousing music (Eschrich et al., 2005; Samson et al., 2009), but it remains unclear whether positively (Eschrich et al., 2008) or negatively valenced music (Aubé et al., 2013; Vieillard and Gilet, 2013) may be better recognized. Moreover, we still know very little about the influence of age on emotional memory for music. To address these issues, we tested emotional memory for music in young and older adults using musical excerpts varying in terms of arousal and valence. Participants completed immediate and 24 h delayed recognition tests. We predicted highly arousing excerpts to be better recognized by both groups in immediate recognition. We hypothesized that arousal may compensate consolidation deficits in aging, thus showing more prominent benefit of high over low arousing stimuli in older than younger adults on delayed recognition. We also hypothesized worst retention of negative excerpts for the older group, resulting in a recognition benefit for positive over negative excerpts specific to older adults. Our results suggest that although older adults had worse recognition than young adults overall, effects of emotion on memory do not seem to be modified by aging. Results on immediate recognition suggest that recognition of low arousing excerpts can be affected by valence, with better memory for positive relative to negative low arousing music. However, 24 h delayed recognition results demonstrate effects of emotion on memory consolidation regardless of age, with a recognition benefit for high arousal and for negatively valenced music. The present study highlights the role of emotion on memory consolidation. Findings are examined in light of the literature on emotional memory for music and for other stimuli. We finally discuss the implication of the present results for potential music interventions in aging and dementia. PMID
... experience at least three times as many positive emotions as negative ones. Ready to boost your positivity ratio? Here are 3 ways to increase positive emotions in everyday life: Identify and track your positive ...
Liu, Wen-Hua; Wang, Ling-Zhi; Zhao, Su-Hua; Ning, Yu-Ping; Chan, Raymond C K
Anhedonia is a key diagnostic criterion for major depression. Investigating the relation between the specific symptoms and emotional processing may help to understand the underlying cognitive mechanism of anhedonia in depression. In this study, we explored the potential association between memory for emotional words and anhedonia in 71 patients with depression and 61 healthy individuals. An emotional word-rating task was administered to assess self-reported emotional experience to words on both valence and arousal dimensions, and subsequent recall and recognition memory for these words. Depressed patients demonstrated a reduction in pleasure and arousal experience to positive words, but an increase in arousal experience to negative words. Depressed patients also displayed a lower overall memory performance in recall measure and a bias to memory of more negative words. Moreover, state anhedonia and trait anhedonia were associated with attenuated positive experience and enhanced negative experience in patients with depression only. Higher levels of anhedonia and depression severity were also associated with fewer positive words and more negative words memory. Patients with depression displayed a flat pattern of emotional experience to positive stimuli and a tendency towards rating negative stimuli more intensely.
Bland, Cassandra E; Howe, Mark L; Knott, Lauren
Research has shown that false-memory production is enhanced for material that is emotionally congruent with the mood of the participant at the time of encoding. So far this research has only been conducted to examine the influence of generic negative affective mood states and generic negative stimuli on false-memory production. In addition, much of the research is limited as it focuses on valence and arousal dimensions, and fails to take into account the more comprehensive nature of emotions. The current study demonstrates that this effect goes beyond general negative or positive moods and acts at a more discrete emotional level. Participants underwent a standard emotion-induction procedure before listening to negative emotional or neutral associative word lists. The emotions induced, negative word lists, and associated nonpresented critical lures, were related to either fear or anger, 2 negative valence emotions that are also both high in arousal. Results showed that when valence and arousal are controlled for, false memories are more likely to be produced for discrete emotionally congruent compared with incongruent materials. These results support spreading activation theories of false remembering and add to our understanding of the adaptive nature of false-memory production. (PsycINFO Database Record
Xie, Weizhen; Zhang, Weiwei
Negative emotion impacts a variety of cognitive processes, including working memory (WM). The present study investigated whether negative emotion modulated WM capacity (quantity) or resolution (quality), 2 independent limits on WM storage. In Experiment 1, observers tried to remember several colors over 1-s delay and then recalled the color of a randomly picked memory item by clicking a best-matching color on a continuous color wheel. On each trial, before the visual WM task, 1 of 3 emotion conditions (negative, neutral, or positive) was induced by having observers to rate the valence of an International Affective Picture System image. Visual WM under negative emotion showed enhanced resolution compared with neutral and positive conditions, whereas the number of retained representations was comparable across the 3 emotion conditions. These effects were generalized to closed-contour shapes in Experiment 2. To isolate the locus of these effects, Experiment 3 adopted an iconic memory version of the color recall task by eliminating the 1-s retention interval. No significant change in the quantity or quality of iconic memory was observed, suggesting that the resolution effects in the first 2 experiments were critically dependent on the need to retain memory representations over a short period of time. Taken together, these results suggest that negative emotion selectively boosts visual WM quality, supporting the dissociable nature quantitative and qualitative aspects of visual WM representation. (PsycINFO Database Record
Wang, Bo; Sun, Bukuan
The current study examined whether the effect of post-encoding emotional arousal on item memory extends to reality-monitoring source memory and, if so, whether the effect depends on emotionality of learning stimuli and testing format. In Experiment 1, participants encoded neutral words and imagined or viewed their corresponding object pictures. Then they watched a neutral, positive, or negative video. The 24-hour delayed test showed that emotional arousal had little effect on both item memory and reality-monitoring source memory. Experiment 2 was similar except that participants encoded neutral, positive, and negative words and imagined or viewed their corresponding object pictures. The results showed that positive and negative emotional arousal induced after encoding enhanced consolidation of item memory, but not reality-monitoring source memory, regardless of emotionality of learning stimuli. Experiment 3, identical to Experiment 2 except that participants were tested only on source memory for all the encoded items, still showed that post-encoding emotional arousal had little effect on consolidation of reality-monitoring source memory. Taken together, regardless of emotionality of learning stimuli and regardless of testing format of source memory (conjunction test vs. independent test), the facilitatory effect of post-encoding emotional arousal on item memory does not generalize to reality-monitoring source memory.
Zinchenko, Artyom; Obermeier, Christian; Kanske, Philipp; Schröger, Erich; Kotz, Sonja A
Cognitive control enables successful goal-directed behavior by resolving a conflict between opposing action tendencies, while emotional control arises as a consequence of emotional conflict processing such as in irony. While negative emotion facilitates both cognitive and emotional conflict processing, it is unclear how emotional conflict processing is affected by positive emotion (e.g., humor). In 2 EEG experiments, we investigated the role of positive audiovisual target stimuli in cognitive and emotional conflict processing. Participants categorized either spoken vowels (cognitive task) or their emotional valence (emotional task) and ignored the visual stimulus dimension. Behaviorally, a positive target showed no influence on cognitive conflict processing, but impeded emotional conflict processing. In the emotional task, response time conflict costs were higher for positive than for neutral targets. In the EEG, we observed an interaction of emotion by congruence in the P200 and N200 ERP components in emotional but not in cognitive conflict processing. In the emotional conflict task, the P200 and N200 conflict effect was larger for emotional than neutral targets. Thus, our results show that emotion affects conflict processing differently as a function of conflict type and emotional valence. This suggests that there are conflict- and valence-specific mechanisms modulating executive control.
Headley, Drew B.; Paré, Denis
Emotional experiences leave vivid memories that can last a lifetime. The emotional facilitation of memory has been attributed to the engagement of diffusely projecting neuromodulatory systems that enhance the consolidation of synaptic plasticity in regions activated by the experience. This process requires the propagation of signals between brain regions, and for those signals to induce long-lasting synaptic plasticity. Both of these demands are met by gamma oscillations, which reflect synchronous population activity on a fast timescale (35–120 Hz). Regions known to participate in the formation of emotional memories, such as the basolateral amygdala, also promote gamma-band activation throughout cortical and subcortical circuits. Recent studies have demonstrated that gamma oscillations are enhanced during emotional situations, coherent between regions engaged by salient stimuli, and predict subsequent memory for cues associated with aversive stimuli. Furthermore, neutral stimuli that come to predict emotional events develop enhanced gamma oscillations, reflecting altered processing in the brain, which may underpin how past emotional experiences color future learning and memory. PMID:24319416
Meneses, Alfredo; Liy-Salmeron, Gustavo
Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamien, 5-HT) has been linked to emotional and motivational aspects of human behavior, including anxiety, depression, impulsivity, etc. Several clinically effective drugs exert effects via 5-HT systems. Growing evidence suggests that those effects play an important role in learning and memory. Whether the role of serotonin is related to memory and/or behavioral or emotional aspects remains an important question. A key question that remains is whether 5-HT markers (e.g., receptors) directly or indirectly participate and/or contribute to the physiological and pharmacological basis of memory and its pathogenesis. The major aim of this paper is to re-examine some recent advances regarding mammalian 5-HT receptors and transporter in light of their physiological, pathophysiological and therapeutic implications for memory. We particularly address evidence involving 5-HT systems in behavioral, pharmacological, molecular, genetic and imaging results and memory. Finally, this paper aims to summarize a portion of the evidence about serotonin, memory and emotion from animal and human studies and provide an overview of potential tools, markers and cellular and molecular candidate mechanisms. It should be noted that there are several subjects that this paper only briefly touches upon, presenting only what may be the most salient findings in the context of memory, emotion and serotonin.
Ballard, Michael E.; Gallo, David A.; de Wit, Harriet
Rationale Many addictive drugs are known to have effects on learning and memory, and these effects could motivate future drug use. Specifically, addictive drugs may affect memory of emotional events and experiences in ways that are attractive to some users. However, few studies have investigated the effects of addictive drugs on emotional memory in humans. Objectives This study examined the effects of the memory-enhancing drug dextroamphetamine (AMP) and the memory-impairing drug Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on emotional memory in healthy volunteers. Methods Participants completed three experimental sessions across which they received capsules containing placebo and two doses of either AMP (10 and 20 mg; N=25) or THC (7.5 and 15 mg; N=25) before viewing pictures of positive (pleasant), neutral, and negative (unpleasant) scenes. Memory for the pictures was assessed two days later, under drug-free conditions. Results Relative to placebo, memory for emotional pictures was improved by AMP and impaired by THC, but neither drug significantly affected memory for unemotional pictures. Positive memory biases were not observed with either drug, and there was no indication that the drugs’ memory effects were directly related to their subjective or physiological effects alone. Conclusions This study provides the first clear evidence that stimulant drugs can preferentially strengthen, and cannabinoids can preferentially impair, memory for emotional events in humans. Although addictive drugs do not appear to positively bias memory, the possibility remains that these drugs’ effects on emotional memory could influence drug use among certain individuals. PMID:23224510
Mneimne, Malek; Powers, Alice S.; Walton, Kate E.; Kosson, David S.; Fonda, Samantha; Simonetti, Jessica
This study examined predictions based upon the right hemisphere (RH) model, the valence-arousal model, and a recently proposed integrated model (Killgore & Yurgelun-Todd, 2007) of emotion processing by testing immediate recall and recognition memory for positive, negative, and neutral verbal stimuli among 35 right-handed women. Building upon…
Seno, Takeharu; Kawabe, Takahiro; Ito, Hiroyuki; Sunaga, Shoji
We examined whether illusory self-motion perception ("vection") induced by viewing upward and downward grating motion stimuli can alter the emotional valence of recollected autobiographical episodic memories. We found that participants recollected positive episodes more often while perceiving upward vection. However, when we tested a small moving…
Brierley, B; Medford, N; Shaw, P; David, A
Background: The human amygdala is implicated in the formation of emotional memories and the perception of emotional stimuli—particularly fear—across various modalities. Objectives: To discern the extent to which these functions are related. Methods: 28 patients who had anterior temporal lobectomy (13 left and 15 right) for intractable epilepsy were recruited. Structural magnetic resonance imaging showed that three of them had atrophy of their remaining amygdala. All participants were given tests of affect perception from facial and vocal expressions and of emotional memory, using a standard narrative test and a novel test of word recognition. The results were standardised against matched healthy controls. Results: Performance on all emotion tasks in patients with unilateral lobectomy ranged from unimpaired to moderately impaired. Perception of emotions in faces and voices was (with exceptions) significantly positively correlated, indicating multimodal emotional processing. However, there was no correlation between the subjects' performance on tests of emotional memory and perception. Several subjects showed strong emotional memory enhancement but poor fear perception. Patients with bilateral amygdala damage had greater impairment, particularly on the narrative test of emotional memory, one showing superior fear recognition but absent memory enhancement. Conclusions: Bilateral amygdala damage is particularly disruptive of emotional memory processes in comparison with unilateral temporal lobectomy. On a cognitive level, the pattern of results implies that perception of emotional expressions and emotional memory are supported by separate processing systems or streams. PMID:15026504
Deliens, Gaétane; Gilson, Médhi; Schmitz, Rémy; Peigneux, Philippe
Consistent evidence nowadays indicates that sleep protects declarative memory from lexical interference. However, little is known about its effect against emotional interference. In a within-subject counterbalanced design, participants learned a list of word pairs after a mood induction procedure (MIP), then slept or stayed awake during the post-learning night. After two recovery nights, half of the list was recalled after a similar mood induction than at the encoding session (no interference condition) and the other half after a different mood induction (interference condition). Amongst participants for whom the MIP was effective, an emotional interference effect appeared only in the sleep-deprived condition, with a lower recall of word pairs subjected to contextual interference than of the other pairs. These findings support the hypothesis of a decoupling between memories and their "affective blanket" during post-learning sleep, protecting recent memories against emotional contextual interference.
Boals, Adriel; Rubin, David C.; Klein, Kitty
Cognitive-emotional distinctiveness (CED), the extent to which an individual separates emotions from an event in the cognitive representation of the event, was explored in four studies. CED was measured using a modified multidimensional scaling procedure. The first study found that lower levels of CED in memories of the September 11 terrorist attacks predicted greater frequency of intrusive thoughts about the attacks. The second study revealed CED levels are higher in negative events, in comparison to positive events and that low CED levels in emotionally intense negative events are associated with a pattern of greater event-related distress. The third study replicated the findings from the previous study when examining CED levels in participants’ memories of the 2004 Presidential election. The fourth study revealed that low CED in emotionally intense negative events is associated with worse mental health. We argue that CED is an adaptive and healthy coping feature of stressful memories. PMID:18569690
Boals, Adriel; Rubin, David C; Klein, Kitty
Cognitive-emotional distinctiveness (CED), the extent to which an individual separates emotions from an event in the cognitive representation of the event, was explored in four studies. CED was measured using a modified multidimensional scaling procedure. The first study found that lower levels of CED in memories of the September 11 terrorist attacks predicted greater frequency of intrusive thoughts about the attacks. The second study revealed that CED levels are higher in negative events, in comparison to positive events and that low CED levels in emotionally intense negative events are associated with a pattern of greater event-related distress. The third study replicated the findings from the previous study when examining CED levels in participants' memories of the 2004 Presidential election. The fourth study revealed that low CED in emotionally intense negative events is associated with worse mental health. We argue that CED is an adaptive and healthy coping feature of stressful memories.
Becker, Benjamin; Steffens, Maria; Zhao, Zhiying; Kendrick, Keith M; Neumann, Claudia; Weber, Bernd; Schultz, Johannes; Mehta, Mitul A; Ettinger, Ulrich; Hurlemann, Rene
Animal studies suggest that N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) dependent signalling in limbic and prefrontal regions is critically involved in both cognitive and emotional functions. In humans, ketamine-induced transient, and disorder associated chronic NMDAR hypofunction (i.e. in schizophrenia) has been associated with deficient performance in the domains of memory and higher-order emotional functioning, as well as altered neural activity in the underlying limbic-prefrontal circuits. To model the effects of NMDAR hypofunction on the integration of emotion and cognition the present pharmacological fMRI study applied the NMDAR antagonist ketamine (target plasma level=100ng/ml) to 21 healthy volunteers in a within-subject placebo-controlled crossover design during encoding of neutral, positive and negative pictures. Our results show that irrespective of emotion, ketamine suppressed parahippocampal and medial prefrontal activity. In contrast, ketamine selectively increased amygdala and orbitofrontal activity during successful encoding of negative stimuli. On the network level ketamine generally increased medial prefrontal-parahippocampal coupling while specifically decreasing amygdala-orbitofrontal interplay during encoding of negative stimuli. On the behavioural level, ketamine produced generally decreased memory performance and abolished the emotional enhancement of memory after a wash-out period of 5 days. The present findings suggest that ketamine produces general as well as valence-specific effects during emotional memory formation. The pattern partly overlaps with alterations previously observed in patients with schizophrenia.
Fairfield, Beth; Mammarella, Nicola; Di Domenico, Alberto
The authors compared 18 centenarians' (M age = 100.1 years, SD = 1.8 years) recognition memory for emotional (positive, negative, and religious) pictures with 18 older adults (M age = 75.2 years, SD = 6.8 years). Participants observed a series of images that varied in emotional valence and meaning and were later asked to discriminate between old and new images in a series of pictures that included studied images as well as new images. Centenarians showed decreased recognition memory for positive and negative images items compared with older adults, F(1, 34) = 9.82, p < .01. In addition, a significant age by valence interaction was observed highlighting how centenarians remembered religious pictures better while older adults favoured positive information when only positive pictures were taken into consideration. Results are interpreted in terms of possible age-linked changes in meaningful goals that lead centenarians to focus on meaningful religious self-relevant information rather than simply on positive information.
Westerhof, G J; Lamers, S M A; de Vries, D R S L
This experiment examined the effect of different ways of recollecting autobiographical memories on emotional well-being. Participants between 65 and 80 years old (N = 70) were instructed to write about a memory from their life when they were 15 to 30 years old. They were asked to do this in a narrative way about a positive memory, in a narrative way about a negative memory or in an interpretative way about a negative memory. We also examined whether spontaneous reminiscence types in everyday life moderate the effects of the experimental manipulation on emotional well-being. Narrating positive memories is more favourable for negative affect than narrating or interpreting negative memories. There is no moderating role for everyday reminiscence types, even though these are related to emotional well-being. Manipulated and spontaneous reminiscence are therefore different. This is a favourable finding for reminiscence interventions, because they can stimulate positive memories, no matter how older people are used to memorize their past.
Clark, Ian A.; Mackay, Clare E.; Holmes, Emily A.
Involuntary autobiographical memories (IAMs) are typically discussed in the context of negative memories such as trauma ‘flashbacks’. However, IAMs occur frequently in everyday life and are predominantly positive. In spite of this, surprisingly little is known about how such positive IAMs arise. The trauma film paradigm is often used to generate negative IAMs. Recently an equivalent positive film was developed inducing positive IAMs (Davies, Malik, Pictet, Blackwell, & Holmes, 2012). The current study is the first to investigate which variables (emotional reaction to the film; recognition memory of the film; participant characteristics) would best predict the frequency of positive IAMs. Higher levels of positive mood change to the film were significantly associated with the number of positive IAMs recorded in the subsequent week. Results demonstrate the importance of positive emotional reaction at the time of an event for subsequent positive IAMs. PMID:23416539
Williams, J. Mark G.; Barnhofer, Thorsten; Crane, Catherine; Herman, Dirk; Raes, Filip; Watkins, Ed; Dalgleish, Tim
The authors review research showing that when recalling autobiographical events, many emotionally disturbed patients summarize categories of events rather than retrieving a single episode. The mechanisms underlying such overgeneral memory are examined, with a focus on M. A. Conway and C. W. Pleydell-Pearce's (2000) hierarchical search model of…
Hu, Xin; Yu, Jianwen; Song, Mengdi; Yu, Chun; Wang, Fei; Sun, Pei; Wang, Daifa; Zhang, Dan
Compared with the well documented neurophysiological findings on negative emotions, much less is known about positive emotions. In the present study, we explored the EEG correlates of ten different positive emotions (joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe, and love). A group of 20 participants were invited to watch 30 short film clips with their EEGs simultaneously recorded. Distinct topographical patterns for different positive emotions were found for the correlation coefficients between the subjective ratings on the ten positive emotions per film clip and the corresponding EEG spectral powers in different frequency bands. Based on the similarities of the participants’ ratings on the ten positive emotions, these emotions were further clustered into three representative clusters, as ‘encouragement’ for awe, gratitude, hope, inspiration, pride, ‘playfulness’ for amusement, joy, interest, and ‘harmony’ for love, serenity. Using the EEG spectral powers as features, both the binary classification on the higher and lower ratings on these positive emotions and the binary classification between the three positive emotion clusters, achieved accuracies of approximately 80% and above. To our knowledge, our study provides the first piece of evidence on the EEG correlates of different positive emotions. PMID:28184194
Kim, Geunyoung; Walden, Tedra; Harris, Vicki; Karrass, Jan; Catron, Thomas
The present study examined the role of emotion and emotion control in children's externalizing problems. Third- to sixth-grade children were administered a self-report measure of positive emotion, negative emotion, and emotion control. Peer- and teacher-reported adjustment problems were assessed. Structural equations modeling revealed that…
Cunningham, Tony J; Chambers, Alexis M; Payne, Jessica D
Successful prospective memory is necessarily driven by an expectation that encoded information will be relevant in the future, leading to its preferential placement in memory storage. Like expectation, emotional salience is another type of cue that benefits human memory formation. Although separate lines of research suggest that both emotional information and information explicitly expected to be important in the future benefit memory consolidation, it is unknown how expectation affects the processing of emotional information and whether sleep, which is known to maximize memory consolidation, plays a critical role. The purpose of this study was to investigate how expectation would impact the consolidation of emotionally salient content, and whether this impact would differ across delays of sleep and wake. Participants encoded scenes containing an emotionally charged negative or neutral foreground object placed on a plausible neutral background. After encoding, half of the participants were informed they would later be tested on the scenes (expected condition), while the other half received no information about the test (unexpected condition). At recognition, following a 12-h delay of sleep or wakefulness, the scene components (objects and backgrounds) were presented separately and one at a time, and participants were asked to determine if each component was old or new. Results revealed a greater disparity for memory of negative objects over their paired neutral backgrounds for both the sleep and wake groups when the memory test was expected compared to when it was unexpected, while neutral memory remained unchanged. Analyzing each group separately, the wake group showed a threefold increase in the magnitude of this object/background trade-off for emotional scenes when the memory test was expected compared to when it was unexpected, while those who slept performed similarly across conditions. These results suggest that emotional salience and expectation cues
Leu, Janxin; Wang, Jennifer; Koo, Kelly
Whereas positive emotions and feeling unequivocally good may be at the heart of well-being among Westerners, positive emotions often carry negative associations within many Asian cultures. Based on a review of East-West cultural differences in dialectical emotions, or co-occurring positive and negative feelings, we predicted culture to influence the association between positive emotions and depression, but not the association between negative emotions and depression. As predicted, in a survey of over 600 European-, immigrant Asian-, and Asian American college students, positive emotions were associated with depression symptoms among European Americans and Asian Americans, but not immigrant Asians. Negative emotions were associated with depression symptoms among all three groups. We also found initial evidence that acculturation (i.e., nativity) may influence the role of positive emotions in depression: Asian Americans fell "in between" the two other groups. These findings suggest the importance of studying the role of culture in positive emotions and in positive psychology. The use of interventions based on promoting positive emotions in clinical psychology among Asian clients is briefly discussed.
Vaillant, George E
This paper proposes that eight positive emotions: awe, love/attachment, trust/faith, compassion, gratitude, forgiveness, joy and hope constitute what we mean by spirituality. These emotions have been grossly ignored by psychiatry. The two sciences that I shall employ to demonstrate this definition of spirituality will be ethology and neuroscience. They are both very new. I will argue that spirituality is not about ideas, sacred texts and theology. Rather, spirituality is all about emotion and social connection that are more dependent on the limbic system than the cortex. Specific religions, for all their limitations, are often the portal through which positive emotions are brought into conscious attention. Neither Freud nor psychiatric textbooks ever mention emotions like joy and gratitude. Hymns and psalms give these emotions pride of place. Our whole concept of psychotherapy might change, if clinicians set about enhancing positive emotions, rather than focusing only on the negative ones.
Ritchey, Maureen; LaBar, Kevin S; Cabeza, Roberto
Emotion is known to influence multiple aspects of memory formation, including the initial encoding of the memory trace and its consolidation over time. However, the neural mechanisms whereby emotion impacts memory encoding remain largely unexplored. The present study used a levels-of-processing manipulation to characterize the impact of emotion on encoding with and without the influence of elaborative processes. Participants viewed emotionally negative, neutral, and positive scenes under two conditions: a shallow condition focused on the perceptual features of the scenes and a deep condition that queried their semantic meaning. Recognition memory was tested 2 days later. Results showed that emotional memory enhancements were greatest in the shallow condition. fMRI analyses revealed that the right amygdala predicted subsequent emotional memory in the shallow more than deep condition, whereas the right ventrolateral PFC demonstrated the reverse pattern. Furthermore, the association of these regions with the hippocampus was modulated by valence: the amygdala-hippocampal link was strongest for negative stimuli, whereas the prefrontal-hippocampal link was strongest for positive stimuli. Taken together, these results suggest two distinct activation patterns underlying emotional memory formation: an amygdala component that promotes memory during shallow encoding, especially for negative information, and a prefrontal component that provides extra benefits during deep encoding, especially for positive information.
Smith, Adam P. R.; Henson, Richard N. A.; Rugg, Michael D.; Dolan, Raymond J.
There is considerable evidence that encoding and consolidation of memory are modulated by emotion, but the retrieval of emotional memories is not well characterized. Here we manipulated the emotional context with which affectively neutral stimuli were associated during encoding, allowing us to examine neural activity associated with retrieval of…
Pe, Madeline L.; Koval, Peter; Houben, Marlies; Erbas, Yasemin; Champagne, Dominique; Kuppens, Peter
That emotions change in response to emotion-eliciting events is a natural part of human life. However, it is equally important for emotions to return to baseline once the emotion-eliciting events have passed. This suggests that the ability to emotionally react to and recover from emotion-eliciting events is critical for healthy psychological functioning. But why do individuals differ in their emotion reactivity and recovery? The present work postulates that the ability to update emotional information in working memory (WM) may explain individual differences in emotion reactivity and recovery. Two studies are presented, which examined whether updating ability was related to emotion reactivity and recovery. In Study 1, we assessed participants' self-reported affect as they viewed negative and positive films. Our results revealed that better updating ability was related to greater emotion reactivity and facilitated (i.e., quicker) recovery from watching negative films. In Study 2, participants recalled a recent angering event, and were then instructed to either ruminate about or reappraise the event. Results revealed that updating ability was again related to greater emotion reactivity and facilitated (i.e., successful) emotion recovery in response to the angering event, and that this was unrelated to the emotion regulation strategy used. These findings identify the ability to update emotional information in WM as a possible mechanism in emotion responding. PMID:25914655
Houle, Iliane; Philippe, Frederick L; Lecours, Serge; Roulez, Josiane
Emotional openness is characterised by a capacity to tolerate threatening self-relevant material and an interest towards new emotional situations. We investigated how specific networks of memories could be an important contributing factor to emotional openness. At Phase 1, participants completed measures of personality traits and emotional intelligence, described a self-defining memory, provided other memories associated with it, and rated the valence of each of their memories. A score assessing the complexity of this memory network, comprising the number of memories reported and their valence diversity, was created. Two weeks later, in laboratory, participants watched an anxiety-inducing film and took part in an interview assessing their emotional openness to the film. They completed a cognitive task before and after the film to measure ego depletion. Controlling for traits and emotional intelligence, memory network complexity was positively associated with emotional openness and negatively with ego depletion. The mental organisation of self-defining memories thus appears to be a critical factor contributing to emotional openness.
Liu, Yunzhe; Lin, Wanjun; Liu, Chao; Luo, Yuejia; Wu, Jianhui; Bayley, Peter J.; Qin, Shaozheng
The ability to suppress unwanted emotional memories is crucial for human mental health. Through consolidation over time, emotional memories often become resistant to change. However, how consolidation impacts the effectiveness of emotional memory suppression is still unknown. Using event-related fMRI while concurrently recording skin conductance, we investigated the neurobiological processes underlying the suppression of aversive memories before and after overnight consolidation. Here we report that consolidated aversive memories retain their emotional reactivity and become more resistant to suppression. Suppression of consolidated memories involves higher prefrontal engagement, and less concomitant hippocampal and amygdala disengagement. In parallel, we show a shift away from hippocampal-dependent representational patterns to distributed neocortical representational patterns in the suppression of aversive memories after consolidation. These findings demonstrate rapid changes in emotional memory organization with overnight consolidation, and suggest possible neurobiological bases underlying the resistance to suppression of emotional memories in affective disorders. PMID:27898050
Xiu, Lichao; Zhou, Renlai; Jiang, Yihan
Emotion regulation during social situations plays a pivotal role in health and interpersonal functioning. In this study, we propose a working memory training approach to improve emotion regulation ability. This training promotes an updating function that is a crucial modulated process for emotion regulation. In the present study, the participants in the training group completed a running memory task over 20 days of training. Their working memory capability and high-frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV) data on pretest and posttest were assessed and analyzed. Compared with the control group, the training group's reaction time in the 2-back working memory task was reduced significantly. In addition, the HF-HRV in the emotion regulation condition was increased after the 20-day training, which indicates that the working memory training effect could transfer to emotion regulation. In other words, working memory training improved emotion regulation ability.
Puig, Nuria; Vilanova, Anna
This article presents the results of two research projects on the emotions of men engaged in achievement outdoor sports. The conditions were analyzed under which emotions carry out positive functions. The question strikes us as a fundamental one, because it is of crucial importance when it comes to increasing sportspeople's success. The…
Tong, Eddie M W; Jia, Lile
Appraisal research has traditionally focused on negative emotions but has not addressed issues concerning the relationships between several positive emotions and appraisals in daily life and the extent to which co-occurrence of positive emotions can be explained by overlap in appraisals. Driven by a priori hypotheses on appraisal-emotion relationships, this study investigated 12 positive emotions and 13 appraisal dimensions using Ecological Momentary Assessment. The results provide strong evidence that positive emotions and appraisals correlate significantly in daily life. Importantly, we found that the positive emotions' overlap on theoretically relevant, as compared to irrelevant, appraisals was stronger and more predictive of their co-occurrence. Furthermore, appraisal overlap on theoretically relevant appraisals predicted the co-occurrence of positive emotions even when the appraisal of pleasantness was excluded, indicating that positive emotions do not co-occur just by virtue of their shared valence. Our findings affirmed and refined the appraisal profiles of positive emotions and underscore the importance of appraisals in accounting for the commonality and differences among positive emotions. (PsycINFO Database Record
Aubé, William; Peretz, Isabelle; Armony, Jorge L
Music is a powerful tool for communicating emotions which can elicit memories through associative mechanisms. However, it is currently unknown whether emotion can modulate memory for music without reference to a context or personal event. We conducted three experiments to investigate the effect of basic emotions (fear, happiness, and sadness) on recognition memory for music, using short, novel stimuli explicitly created for research purposes, and compared them with nonlinguistic vocalisations. Results showed better memory accuracy for musical clips expressing fear and, to some extent, happiness. In the case of nonlinguistic vocalisations we confirmed a memory advantage for all emotions tested. A correlation between memory accuracy for music and vocalisations was also found, particularly in the case of fearful expressions. These results confirm that emotional expressions, particularly fearful ones, conveyed by music can influence memory as has been previously shown for other forms of expressions, such as faces and vocalisations.
Weafer, Jessica; Gallo, David A.; De Wit, Harriet
Objective: Acute doses of alcohol impair memory when administered before encoding of emotionally neutral stimuli but enhance memory when administered immediately after encoding, potentially by affecting memory consolidation. Here, we examined whether alcohol produces similar biphasic effects on memory for positive or negative emotional stimuli. Method: The current study examined memory for emotional stimuli after alcohol (0.8 g/kg) was administered either before stimulus viewing (encoding group; n = 20) or immediately following stimulus viewing (consolidation group; n = 20). A third group received placebo both before and after stimulus viewing (control group; n = 19). Participants viewed the stimuli on one day, and their retrieval was assessed exactly 48 hours later, when they performed a surprise cued recollection and recognition test of the stimuli in a drug-free state. Results: As in previous studies, alcohol administered before encoding impaired memory accuracy, whereas alcohol administered after encoding enhanced memory accuracy. Critically, alcohol effects on cued recollection depended on the valence of the emotional stimuli: Its memory-impairing effects during encoding were greatest for emotional stimuli, whereas its memory-enhancing effects during consolidation were greatest for emotionally neutral stimuli. Effects of alcohol on recognition were not related to stimulus valence. Conclusions: This study extends previous findings with memory for neutral stimuli, showing that alcohol differentially affects the encoding and consolidation of memory for emotional stimuli. These effects of alcohol on memory for emotionally salient material may contribute to the development of alcohol-related problems, perhaps by dampening memory for adverse consequences of alcohol consumption. PMID:26751358
Payne, Jessica D; Jackson, Eric D; Hoscheidt, Siobhan; Ryan, Lee; Jacobs, W Jake; Nadel, Lynn
Stressful events frequently comprise both neutral and emotionally arousing information, yet the impact of stress on emotional and neutral events is still not fully understood. The hippocampus and frontal cortex have dense concentrations of receptors for stress hormones, such as cortisol, which at high levels can impair performance on hippocampally dependent memory tasks. Yet, the same stress hormones can facilitate memory for emotional information, which involves interactions between the hippocampus and amygdala. Here, we induced psychosocial stress prior to encoding and examined its long-term effects on memory for emotional and neutral episodes. The stress manipulation disrupted long-term memory for a neutral episode, but facilitated long-term memory for an equivalent emotional episode compared with a control condition. The stress manipulation also increased salivary cortisol, catecholamines as indicated by the presence of alpha-amylase, heart rate, and subjectively reported stress. Stressed subjects reported more false memories than nonstressed control subjects, and these false memories correlated positively with cortisol levels, providing evidence for a relationship between stress and false memory formation. Our results demonstrate that stress, when administered prior to encoding, produces different patterns of long-term remembering for neutral and emotional episodes. These differences likely emerge from differential actions of stress hormones on memory-relevant regions of the brain.
Feinstein, Justin S.; Duff, Melissa C.; Tranel, Daniel
Can the experience of an emotion persist once the memory for what induced the emotion has been forgotten? We capitalized on a rare opportunity to study this question directly using a select group of patients with severe amnesia following circumscribed bilateral damage to the hippocampus. The amnesic patients underwent a sadness induction procedure (using affectively-laden film clips) to ascertain whether their experience of sadness would persist beyond their memory for the sadness-inducing films. The experiment showed that the patients continued to experience elevated levels of sadness well beyond the point in time at which they had lost factual memory for the film clips. A second experiment using a happiness induction procedure yielded similar results, suggesting that both positive and negative emotional experiences can persist independent of explicit memory for the inducing event. These findings provide direct evidence that a feeling of emotion can endure beyond the conscious recollection for the events that initially triggered the emotion. PMID:20385824
Sheldon, Signy; Donahue, Julia
Remembering is impacted by several factors of retrieval, including the emotional content of a memory cue. Here we tested how musical retrieval cues that differed on two dimensions of emotion-valence (positive and negative) and arousal (high and low)-impacted the following aspects of autobiographical memory recall: the response time to access a past personal event, the experience of remembering (ratings of memory vividness), the emotional content of a cued memory (ratings of event arousal and valence), and the type of event recalled (ratings of event energy, socialness, and uniqueness). We further explored how cue presentation affected autobiographical memory retrieval by administering cues of similar arousal and valence levels in a blocked fashion to one half of the tested participants, and randomly to the other half. We report three main findings. First, memories were accessed most quickly in response to musical cues that were highly arousing and positive in emotion. Second, we observed a relation between a cue and the elicited memory's emotional valence but not arousal; however, both the cue valence and arousal related to the nature of the recalled event. Specifically, high cue arousal led to lower memory vividness and uniqueness ratings, but cues with both high arousal and positive valence were associated with memories rated as more social and energetic. Finally, cue presentation impacted both how quickly and specifically memories were accessed and how cue valence affected the memory vividness ratings. The implications of these findings for views of how emotion directs the access to memories and the experience of remembering are discussed.
Subramanian, Ramanathan; Shankar, Divya; Sebe, Nicu; Melcher, David
A basic question in vision research regards where people look in complex scenes and how this influences their performance in various tasks. Previous studies with static images have demonstrated a close link between where people look and what they remember. Here, we examined the pattern of eye movements when participants watched neutral and emotional clips from Hollywood-style movies. Participants answered multiple-choice memory questions concerning visual and auditory scene details immediately upon viewing 1-min-long neutral or emotional movie clips. Fixations were more narrowly focused for emotional clips, and immediate memory for object details was worse compared to matched neutral scenes, implying preferential attention to emotional events. Although we found the expected correlation between where people looked and what they remembered for neutral clips, this relationship broke down for emotional clips. When participants were subsequently presented with key frames (static images) extracted from the movie clips such that presentation duration of the target objects (TOs) corresponding to the multiple-choice questions was matched and the earlier questions were repeated, more fixations were observed on the TOs, and memory performance also improved significantly, confirming that emotion modulates the relationship between gaze position and memory performance. Finally, in a long-term memory test, old/new recognition performance was significantly better for emotional scenes as compared to neutral scenes. Overall, these results are consistent with the hypothesis that emotional content draws eye fixations and strengthens memory for the scene gist while weakening encoding of peripheral scene details.
Puig, Núria; Vilanova, Anna
This article presents the results of two research projects on the emotions of men engaged in achievement outdoor sports. The conditions were analyzed under which emotions carry out positive functions. The question strikes us as a fundamental one, because it is of crucial importance when it comes to increasing sportspeople's success. The theoretical framework applied was that of microfunctionalism. The method, of a qualitative nature, was based on in-depth interviews, each lasting between 1.5 and 2 hr with a total of 14 sportspersons. The results show that in order for emotions to fulfill positive functions, three conditions must be met: (a) existence of passion, which, with its dialectical character of pleasure and suffering underlies all the other emotions and acts as a motor that pushes the sportsperson forward, despite all the contretemps he might meet on the way; (b) intense emotion work, which may be conducted only if accompanied by knowledge and experience of the natural environment acquired over the years; and (c) conciliation between emotion work and the feeling rules characteristic of each sport subculture. For those individuals who pursue achievement in outdoor sports, these results will provide more concrete indications regarding how to carry out the emotional preparation required for these sports.
Fredrickson, Barbara L.
In this article, the author describes a new theoretical perspective on positive emotions and situates this new perspective within the emerging field of positive psychology. The broaden-and-build theory posits that experiences of positive emotions broaden people's momentary thought-action repertoires, which in turn serves to build their enduring personal resources, ranging from physical and intellectual resources to social and psychological resources. Preliminary empirical evidence supporting the broaden-and-build theory is reviewed, and open empirical questions that remain to be tested are identified. The theory and findings suggest that the capacity to experience positive emotions may be a fundamental human strength central to the study of human flourishing. PMID:11315248
Finlayson, Kathryn; Lampe, Jessica Frances; Hintze, Sara; Würbel, Hanno; Melotti, Luca
Until recently, research in animal welfare science has mainly focused on negative experiences like pain and suffering, often neglecting the importance of assessing and promoting positive experiences. In rodents, specific facial expressions have been found to occur in situations thought to induce negatively valenced emotional states (e.g., pain, aggression and fear), but none have yet been identified for positive states. Thus, this study aimed to investigate if facial expressions indicative of positive emotional state are exhibited in rats. Adolescent male Lister Hooded rats (Rattus norvegicus, N = 15) were individually subjected to a Positive and a mildly aversive Contrast Treatment over two consecutive days in order to induce contrasting emotional states and to detect differences in facial expression. The Positive Treatment consisted of playful manual tickling administered by the experimenter, while the Contrast Treatment consisted of exposure to a novel test room with intermittent bursts of white noise. The number of positive ultrasonic vocalisations was greater in the Positive Treatment compared to the Contrast Treatment, indicating the experience of differentially valenced states in the two treatments. The main findings were that Ear Colour became significantly pinker and Ear Angle was wider (ears more relaxed) in the Positive Treatment compared to the Contrast Treatment. All other quantitative and qualitative measures of facial expression, which included Eyeball height to width Ratio, Eyebrow height to width Ratio, Eyebrow Angle, visibility of the Nictitating Membrane, and the established Rat Grimace Scale, did not show differences between treatments. This study contributes to the exploration of positive emotional states, and thus good welfare, in rats as it identified the first facial indicators of positive emotions following a positive heterospecific play treatment. Furthermore, it provides improvements to the photography technique and image analysis for the
Buratto, Luciano Grüdtner; Zimmermann, Nicolle; Ferré, Perrine; Joanette, Yves; Fonseca, Rochele Paz; Stein, Lilian Milnitsky
Previous research has attributed to the right hemisphere (RH) a key role in eliciting false memories to visual emotional stimuli. These results have been explained in terms of two right-hemisphere properties: (i) that emotional stimuli are preferentially processed in the RH and (ii) that visual stimuli are represented more coarsely in the RH. According to this account, false emotional memories are preferentially produced in the RH because emotional stimuli are both more strongly and more diffusely activated during encoding, leaving a memory trace that can be erroneously reactivated by similar but unstudied emotional items at test. If this right-hemisphere hypothesis is correct, then RH damage should result in a reduction in false memories to emotional stimuli relative to left-hemisphere lesions. To investigate this possibility, groups of right-brain-damaged (RBD, N=15), left-brain-damaged (LBD, N=15) and healthy (HC, N=30) participants took part in a recognition memory experiment with emotional (negative and positive) and non-emotional pictures. False memories were operationalized as incorrect responses to unstudied pictures that were similar to studied ones. Both RBD and LBD participants showed similar reductions in false memories for negative pictures relative to controls. For positive pictures, however, false memories were reduced only in RBD patients. The results provide only partial support for the right-hemisphere hypothesis and suggest that inter-hemispheric cooperation models may be necessary to fully account for false emotional memories.
Rihm, Julia S; Rasch, Björn
Emotional memories are reprocessed during sleep, and it is widely assumed that this reprocessing occurs mainly during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. In support for this notion, vivid emotional dreams occur mainly during REM sleep, and several studies have reported emotional memory enhancement to be associated with REM sleep or REM sleep-related parameters. However, it is still unknown whether reactivation of emotional memories during REM sleep strengthens emotional memories. Here, we tested whether re-presentation of emotionally learned stimuli during REM sleep enhances emotional memory. In a split-night design, participants underwent Pavlovian conditioning after the first half of the night. Neutral sounds served as conditioned stimuli (CS) and were either paired with a negative odor (CS+) or an odorless vehicle (CS-). During sound replay in subsequent late REM or N2 sleep, half of the CS+ and half of the CS- were presented again. In contrast to our hypothesis, replay during sleep did not affect emotional memory as measured by the differentiation between CS+ and CS- in expectancy, arousal and valence ratings. However, replay unspecifically decreased subjective arousal ratings of both emotional and neutral sounds and increased positive valence ratings also for both CS+ and CS- sounds, respectively. These effects were slightly more pronounced for replay during REM sleep. Our results suggest that re-exposure to previously conditioned stimuli during late sleep does not affect emotional memory strength, but rather influences the affective tone of both emotional and neutral memories.
Wang, Bo; Sun, Bukuan
Two experiments investigated the time-limited effects of emotional arousal on consolidation of item and source memory. In Experiment 1, participants memorized words (items) and the corresponding speakers (sources) and then took an immediate free recall test. Then they watched a neutral, positive, or negative video 5, 35, or 50 min after learning, and 24 hours later they took surprise memory tests. Experiment 2 was similar to Experiment 1 except that (a) a reality monitoring task was used; (b) elicitation delays of 5, 30, and 45 min were used; and (c) delayed memory tests were given 60 min after learning. Both experiments showed that, regardless of elicitation delay, emotional arousal did not enhance item recall memory. Second, both experiments showed that negative arousal enhanced delayed item recognition memory only at the medium elicitation delay, but not in the shorter or longer delays. Positive arousal enhanced performance only in Experiment 1. Third, regardless of elicitation delay, emotional arousal had little effect on source memory. These findings have implications for theories of emotion and memory, suggesting that emotion effects are contingent upon the nature of the memory task and elicitation delay.
Bannerman, Rachel L; Temminck, Elisha V; Sahraie, Arash
There is evidence that emotional stimuli capture spatial attention and that visual memory is enhanced for emotional content. Here we examine the relationship between emotional content of stimuli and interactions with spatial memory. To assess spatial memory, a modified version of the Corsi Blocks Task (CBT), utilising emotional stimuli, was employed. In the CBT a series of spatial positions are highlighted and the participant has to repeat these in the order in which they were produced. Results showed that presenting more meaningful stimuli, such as emotional faces (e.g. angry or happy) at the spatial locations in the CBT did not enhance spatial memory span relative to the presentation of neutral stimuli (e.g. neutral faces) or non-image stimuli signified by a change in the luminance of the blocks. In addition, saccadic eye movements performed during retention disrupted spatial memory for all items. This occurred irrespective of whether the item to be remembered was a face, a luminance-defined stimulus or whether the face carried emotional significance. The results were not related to the visibility of the test stimuli as participants recognised the emotion displayed by the faces significantly above chance and rated emotional faces as being more arousing than neutral faces. Changes in the type of emotional stimulus (e.g. fearful faces, emotional schematic faces, spiders or flowers) or encoding (short vs. long) duration did not alter the pattern of results. These findings demonstrate an important dissociation between spatial capture and memory. Although emotional content can modulate orienting behaviour, it appears to be of limited effect on spatial memory.
Mathematical modelling is suggested as an activity through which students engage in meaningful mathematics. In the current research, the modelling activity of a group of four seventh-grade students was analysed using the discursive analysis framework. The research findings show that the positionings and emotions of the group members during their participation in the modelling activity changed as the activity proceeded. Overall, it can be said that three of the four group members acted as insiders, while the fourth acted as an outsider, and only, towards the end of the group's work on the activity, he acted as an insider. Moreover, the research findings point at four factors that affected the group members' positionings and emotions during the modelling activity: the member's characteristics, the member's history of learning experiences, the activity characteristics and the modelling phases. Furthermore, the different positionings of the group members in the different modelling phases were accompanied by different emotions experienced by them, where being an insider and a collaborator resulted in positive emotions, while being an outsider resulted in negative emotions.
Smith, Adam P R; Henson, Richard N A; Rugg, Michael D; Dolan, Raymond J
There is considerable evidence that encoding and consolidation of memory are modulated by emotion, but the retrieval of emotional memories is not well characterized. Here we manipulated the emotional context with which affectively neutral stimuli were associated during encoding, allowing us to examine neural activity associated with retrieval of emotional memories without confounding the emotional attributes of cue items and the retrieved context. Using a source memory procedure we were also able to compare how retrieval processing was modulated when the emotional encoding context was recollected or not. An interaction between emotional encoding context and accuracy of source memory revealed that successful retrieval of emotional context was associated with activity in left amygdala, and a left frontotemporal network including anterior insula, prefrontal cortex and cingulate. In contrast, when contextual retrieval was unsuccessful, items encoded in emotional contexts elicited enhanced activity in right amygdala and a right-lateralized network that included extrastriate visual areas. These findings indicate distinct effects of emotion on successful and unsuccessful retrieval of source information, including lateralization of amygdala responses.
Holland, Carol A; Ridout, Nathan; Walford, Edward; Geraghty, Jennifer
The current study examined the role of executive function in retrieval of specific autobiographical memories in older adults with regard to control of emotion during retrieval. Older and younger adults retrieved memories of specific events in response to emotionally positive, negative and neutral word cues. Contributions of inhibitory and updating elements of executive function to variance in autobiographical specificity were assessed to determine processes involved in the commonly found age-related reduction in specificity. A negative relationship between age and specificity was only found in retrieval to neutral cues. Alternative explanations of this age preservation of specificity of emotional recall are explored, within the context of control of emotion in the self-memory system and preserved emotional processing and positivity effect in older adults. The pattern of relationships suggests updating, rather than inhibition, as the source of age-related reduction in specificity, but that emotional processing (particularly of positively valenced memories) is not influenced by age-related variance in executive control. The tendency of older adults to focus on positive material may thus act as a buffer against detrimental effects of reduced executive function capacity on autobiographical retrieval, representing a possible target for interventions to improve specificity of autobiographical memory retrieval in older adults.
Madan, Christopher R.; Caplan, Jeremy B.; Lau, Christine S. M.; Fujiwara, Esther
Emotionally arousing information is remembered better than neutral information. This enhancement effect has been shown for memory for items. In contrast, studies of association-memory have found both impairments and enhancements of association-memory by arousal. We aimed to resolve these conflicting results by using a cued-recall paradigm combined…
van Veen, Suzanne C.; Engelhard, Iris M.; van den Hout, Marcel A.
article Recall of an aversive autobiographical memory is a cognitive demanding task. The vividness and emotionality of an aversive memory decrease more after recall with eye movements than after only recall or only cognitive effort (i.e., recall of an irrelevant memory with eye movements). The cognitive load of recalling the memory does not immediately reduce after recall with eye movements compared to only recall or only cognitive effort. Intervention duration is positively related to memory effects. PMID:27387845
Cairney, Scott A; Durrant, Simon J; Power, Rebecca; Lewis, Penelope A
Although rapid eye movement sleep (REM) is regularly implicated in emotional memory consolidation, the role of slow-wave sleep (SWS) in this process is largely uncharacterized. In the present study, we investigated the relative impacts of nocturnal SWS and REM upon the consolidation of emotional memories using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and polysomnography (PSG). Participants encoded emotionally positive, negative, and neutral images (remote memories) before a night of PSG-monitored sleep. Twenty-four hours later, they encoded a second set of images (recent memories) immediately before a recognition test in an MRI scanner. SWS predicted superior memory for remote negative images and a reduction in right hippocampal responses during the recollection of these items. REM, however, predicted an overnight increase in hippocampal-neocortical connectivity associated with negative remote memory. These findings provide physiological support for sequential views of sleep-dependent memory processing, demonstrating that SWS and REM serve distinct but complementary functions in consolidation. Furthermore, these findings extend those ideas to emotional memory by showing that, once selectively reorganized away from the hippocampus during SWS, emotionally aversive representations undergo a comparably targeted process during subsequent REM.
Tambini, Arielle; Rimmele, Ulrike; Phelps, Elizabeth A; Davachi, Lila
Emotional arousal can produce lasting, vivid memories for emotional experiences, but little is known about whether emotion can prospectively enhance memory formation for temporally distant information. One mechanism that may support prospective memory enhancements is the carry-over of emotional brain states that influence subsequent neutral experiences. Here we found that neutral stimuli encountered by human subjects 9-33 min after exposure to emotionally arousing stimuli had greater levels of recollection during delayed memory testing compared to those studied before emotional and after neutral stimulus exposure. Moreover, multiple measures of emotion-related brain activity showed evidence of reinstatement during subsequent periods of neutral stimulus encoding. Both slow neural fluctuations (low-frequency connectivity) and transient, stimulus-evoked activity predictive of trial-by-trial memory formation present during emotional encoding were reinstated during subsequent neutral encoding. These results indicate that neural measures of an emotional experience can persist in time and bias how new, unrelated information is encoded and recollected.
Meng, Xianxin; Zhang, Ling; Liu, Wenwen; Ding, XinSheng; Li, Hong; Yang, Jiemin; Yuan, JiaJin
Although the effects of emotion of different emotional intensity on memory have been investigated, it remain unclear whether the influence of emotional intensity on memory varies depending on the stimulus valence polarity (i.e., positive or negative). To address this, event-related potentials were recorded when subjects performed a continuous old/new discrimination task, for highly negative (HN), mildly negative (MN) and neutral pictures in the negative session; and for highly positive (HP), mildly positive (MP) and neutral pictures in the positive session. The results showed that relative to neutral stimuli, both HN and MN stimuli showed increased memory discrimination scores, and enhanced old/new effect in early FN400 (Frontal Negativity), but not late positive component (LPC) amplitudes. By contrast, relative to MP stimuli, HP and neutral stimuli showed increased memory discrimination scores and enhanced old/new effect in LPC but not FN400 amplitudes. Additionally, we observed a significant positive correlation between the memory discrimination score and the old/new effect in the amplitudes of the FN400 and LPC, respectively. These results indicate that both HN and MN stimuli were remembered better than neutral stimuli; whereas the recognition was worse for MP stimuli than Neutral and HP stimuli. In conclusion, in the present study, we observed that the effect of emotion intensity on memory depends on the stimulus valence polarity.
Nielsen, Shawn E; Segal, Sabrina K; Worden, Ian V; Yim, Ilona S; Cahill, Larry
Emotionally arousing material is typically better remembered than neutral material. Since norepinephrine and cortisol interact to modulate emotional memory, sex-related influences on stress responses may be related to sex differences in emotional memory. Two groups of healthy women - one naturally cycling (NC women, n=42) and one using hormonal contraceptives (HC women, n=36) - viewed emotionally arousing and neutral images. Immediately after, they were assigned to Cold Pressor Stress (CPS) or a control procedure. One week later, participants received a surprise free recall test. Saliva samples were collected and later assayed for salivary alpha-amylase (biomarker for norepinephrine) and cortisol. Compared to NC women, HC women exhibited significantly blunted stress hormone responses to the images and CPS. Recall of emotional images differed between HC and NC women depending on noradrenergic and cortisol responses. These findings may have important implications for understanding the neurobiology of emotional memory disorders, especially those that disproportionately affect women.
Augusti, Else-Marie; Torheim, Hanna Karoline; Melinder, Annika
Studies on adults have revealed a disadvantageous effect of negative emotional stimuli on executive functions (EF), and it is suggested that this effect is amplified in children. The present study's aim was to assess how emotional facial expressions affected working memory in 9- to 12-year-olds, using a working memory task with emotional facial expressions as stimuli. Additionally, we explored how degree of internalizing and externalizing symptoms in typically developing children was related to performance on the same task. Before employing the working memory task with emotional facial expressions as stimuli, an independent sample of 9- to 12-year-olds was asked to recognize the facial expressions intended to serve as stimuli for the working memory task and to rate the facial expressions on the degree to which the emotion was expressed and for arousal to obtain a baseline for how children during this age recognize and react to facial expressions. The first study revealed that children rated the facial expressions with similar intensity and arousal across age. When employing the working memory task with facial expressions, results revealed that negatively valenced expressions impaired working memory more than neutral and positively valenced expressions. The ability to successfully complete the working memory task increased between 9 to 12 years of age. Children's total problems were associated with poorer performance on the working memory task with facial expressions. Results on the effect of emotion on working memory are discussed in light of recent models and empirical findings on how emotional information might interact and interfere with cognitive processes such as working memory.
Mathematical modelling is suggested as an activity through which students engage in meaningful mathematics. In the current research, the modelling activity of a group of four seventh-grade students was analysed using the discursive analysis framework. The research findings show that the positionings and emotions of the group members during their…
Schmidt, Stephen R
College students were asked about their personal memories from September 11, 2001. Consistency in reported features over a 2-month period increased as the delay between the initial test and 9/11 increased. Central features (e.g., Where were you?) were reported with greater consistency than were peripheral features (What were you wearing?) but also contained a larger proportion of reconstructive errors. In addition, highly emotional participants demonstrated poor prospective memory and relatively inconsistent memory for peripheral details, when compared with less emotional participants. Highly emotional participants were also more likely to increase the specificity of their responses over time but did not exhibit greater consistency for central details than did less emotional participants. The results demonstrated reconstructive processes in the memory for a highly consequential and emotional event and emotional impairment of memory processing of incidental details.
Deady, D K; North, N T; Allan, D; Smith, M J Law; O'Carroll, R E
The prevailing view on the effects of spinal cord injury (SCI) on emotion is that it dampens emotional experience due to a loss of peripheral bodily feedback, with the higher the lesion on the spinal cord the greater the reduction in the intensity of emotional experience. This view persists despite many studies showing an absence of such an emotional impairment in people with SCI. This study specifically aimed to investigate whether total cervical-6 spinal cord transection (i) reduces emotional expressivity and emotional awareness (ii) impairs memory for emotional material. The study contained three groups: 24 patients with SCI, 20 orthopaedic injury control (OIC) patients and 20 young adult controls. A mixed factor design was employed to examine between group and within subject differences. Participants completed the Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale (LEAS), the Berkeley Expressivity Questionnaire (BEQ), and viewed an emotionally arousing slide presentation. Thirty minutes post viewing, participants completed memory tests for the presentation. SCI patients reported greater present levels of emotional expressivity compared with perceived levels prior to their injuries. SCI and OIC groups did not differ on any of the emotional awareness variables. There was also no evidence that SCI leads to impairment in memory for emotional events. This study's findings contradict the mainstream view in the cognitive neuroscience of emotion that SCI dampens emotional experience.
White, Corey N.; Kapucu, Aycan; Bruno, Davide; Rotello, Caren M.; Ratcliff, Roger
Recognition memory studies often find that emotional items are more likely than neutral items to be labeled as studied. Previous work suggests this bias is driven by increased memory strength/familiarity for emotional items. We explored strength and bias interpretations of this effect with the conjecture that emotional stimuli might seem more familiar because they share features with studied items from the same category. Categorical effects were manipulated in a recognition task by presenting lists with a small, medium, or large proportion of emotional words. The liberal memory bias for emotional words was only observed when a medium or large proportion of categorized words were presented in the lists. Similar, though weaker, effects were observed with categorized words that were not emotional (animal names). These results suggest that liberal memory bias for emotional items may be largely driven by effects of category membership. PMID:24303902
White, Corey N; Kapucu, Aycan; Bruno, Davide; Rotello, Caren M; Ratcliff, Roger
Recognition memory studies often find that emotional items are more likely than neutral items to be labelled as studied. Previous work suggests this bias is driven by increased memory strength/familiarity for emotional items. We explored strength and bias interpretations of this effect with the conjecture that emotional stimuli might seem more familiar because they share features with studied items from the same category. Categorical effects were manipulated in a recognition task by presenting lists with a small, medium or large proportion of emotional words. The liberal memory bias for emotional words was only observed when a medium or large proportion of categorised words were presented in the lists. Similar, though weaker, effects were observed with categorised words that were not emotional (animal names). These results suggest that liberal memory bias for emotional items may be largely driven by effects of category membership.
May, Cynthia; Owens, Max; Einstein, Gilles O
The emotionally enhanced memory effect is robust across studies of retrospective memory, with heightened recall for items with emotional content (e.g., words like "murder") relative to neutral items (e.g., words like "envelope"). Only a handful of studies have examined the influence of emotion on prospective memory (PM), with mixed results. In some cases emotion enhances PM, and in others it impairs PM. Interpretation of these findings is clouded by methodological differences across studies and by the fact that, to date, no study has examined the impact of emotion on PM monitoring. In our study, we assessed PM performance when PM targets were neutral, negative, and positive, and also investigated monitoring across these different PM target types. Participants showed heightened PM performance for positive and negative relative to neutral targets, yet there was no evidence of additional monitoring for emotional targets. In fact, measures of monitoring were significantly reduced when the PM targets were emotional rather than neutral. Our findings suggest that it is possible to boost PM performance in a focal task using emotional cues, and that the use of emotional cues reduces the need for monitoring.
Schupp, Harald T.; Kirmse, Ursula; Schmälzle, Ralf; Flaisch, Tobias; Renner, Britta
Emotional cues can guide selective attention processes. However, emotional stimuli can both activate long-term memory representations reflecting general world knowledge and engage newly formed memory representations representing specific knowledge from the immediate past. Here, the self-completion feature of associative memory was utilized to assess the regulation of attention processes by newly-formed emotional memory. First, new memory representations were formed by presenting pictures depicting a person either in an erotic pose or as a portrait. Afterwards, to activate newly-built memory traces, edited pictures were presented showing only the head region of the person. ERP recordings revealed the emotional regulation of attention by newly-formed memories. Specifically, edited pictures from the erotic compared to the portrait category elicited an early posterior negativity and late positive potential, similar to the findings observed for the original pictures. A control condition showed that the effect was dependent on newly-formed memory traces. Given the large number of new memories formed each day, they presumably make an important contribution to the regulation of attention in everyday life. PMID:27321471
Desmedt, Aline; Marighetto, Aline; Richter-Levin, Gal; Calandreau, Ludovic
For centuries philosophical and clinical studies have emphasized a fundamental dichotomy between emotion and cognition, as, for instance, between behavioral/emotional memory and explicit/representative memory. However, the last few decades cognitive neuroscience have highlighted data indicating that emotion and cognition, as well as their underlying neural networks, are in fact in close interaction. First, it turns out that emotion can serve cognition, as exemplified by its critical contribution to decision-making or to the enhancement of episodic memory. Second, it is also observed that reciprocally cognitive processes as reasoning, conscious appraisal or explicit representation of events can modulate emotional responses, like promoting or reducing fear. Third, neurobiological data indicate that reciprocal amygdalar-hippocampal influences underlie such mutual regulation of emotion and cognition. While supporting this view, the present review discusses experimental data, obtained in rodents, indicating that the hippocampal and amygdalar systems not only regulate each other and their functional outcomes, but also qualify specific emotional memory representations through specific activations and interactions. Specifically, we review consistent behavioral, electrophysiological, pharmacological, biochemical and imaging data unveiling a direct contribution of both the amygdala and hippocampal-septal system to the identification of the predictor of a threat in different situations of fear conditioning. Our suggestion is that these two brain systems and their interplay determine the selection of relevant emotional stimuli, thereby contributing to the adaptive value of emotional memory. Hence, beyond the mutual quantitative regulation of these two brain systems described so far, we develop the idea that different activations of the hippocampus and amygdala, leading to specific configurations of neural activity, qualitatively impact the formation of emotional memory
Ventura-Bort, Carlos; Löw, Andreas; Wendt, Julia; Moltó, Javier; Poy, Rosario; Dolcos, Florin; Hamm, Alfons O; Weymar, Mathias
There is abundant evidence in memory research that emotional stimuli are better remembered than neutral stimuli. However, effects of an emotionally charged context on memory for associated neutral elements is also important, particularly in trauma and stress-related disorders, where strong memories are often activated by neutral cues due to their emotional associations. In the present study, we used event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate long-term recognition memory (1-week delay) for neutral objects that had been paired with emotionally arousing or neutral scenes during encoding. Context effects were clearly evident in the ERPs: An early frontal ERP old/new difference (300-500 ms) was enhanced for objects encoded in unpleasant compared to pleasant and neutral contexts; and a late central-parietal old/new difference (400-700 ms) was observed for objects paired with both pleasant and unpleasant contexts but not for items paired with neutral backgrounds. Interestingly, objects encoded in emotional contexts (and novel objects) also prompted an enhanced frontal early (180-220 ms) positivity compared to objects paired with neutral scenes indicating early perceptual significance. The present data suggest that emotional--particularly unpleasant--backgrounds strengthen memory for items encountered within these contexts and engage automatic and explicit recognition processes. These results could help in understanding binding mechanisms involved in the activation of trauma-related memories by neutral cues.
Bookbinder, S H; Brainerd, C J
False memories are influenced by a variety of factors, but emotion is a variable of special significance, for theoretical and practical reasons. Interestingly, emotion's effects on false memory depend on whether it is embedded in the content of to-be-remembered events or in our moods, where mood is an aspect of the context in which events are encoded. We sketch the theoretical basis for this content-context dissociation and then review accumulated evidence that content and context effects are indeed different. Paradoxically, we find that in experiments on spontaneous and implanted false memories, negatively valenced content foments distortion, but negatively valenced moods protect against it. In addition, correlational data show that enduring negative natural moods (e.g., depression) foment false memory. Current opponent-process models of false memory, such as fuzzy-trace theory, are able to explain the content-context dissociation: Variations in emotional content primarily affect memory for the gist of events, whereas variations in emotional context primarily affect memory for events' exact verbatim form. Important questions remain about how these effects are modulated by variations in memory tests and in arousal. Promising methods of tackling those questions are outlined, especially designs that separate the gist and verbatim influences of emotion. (PsycINFO Database Record
Jones, Bethany; Bukoski, Elizabeth; Nadel, Lynn; Fellous, Jean-Marc
There is strong evidence that reactivation of a memory returns it to a labile state, initiating a restabilization process termed reconsolidation, which allows for updating of the memory. In this study we investigated reactivation-dependent updating using a new positively motivated spatial task in rodents that was designed specifically to model a…
Preuss, Diana; Schoofs, Daniela; Wolf, Oliver T
The stress hormone cortisol is known to influence memory. Elevated cortisol levels as a consequence of stress or as a consequence of cortisol administration have been repeatedly shown to enhance encoding and consolidation of (emotional) memory. Whether similar associations exist between basal cortisol levels and emotional memory remains to be established. The present study therefore evaluated if resting cortisol levels are correlated with memory for emotionally arousing and neutral pictures in a sample of young healthy females (n = 56). A second aim of the study was to explore if the relationship between basal cortisol levels and memory might be modulated by encoding instructions (intentional vs. incidental encoding). A significant positive correlation between basal salivary cortisol levels and memory for emotionally arousing pictures in a 24 h delayed free recall test was found. Further analyses revealed that this association only occurred in the group receiving intentional encoding instructions. Results indicate that basal cortisol levels, similarly to stress induced cortisol levels, are associated with emotional memory formation. Moreover this effect seems to be modulated by encoding instructions, suggesting a role of focussed attention or arousal induced by testing in this relationship.
Abercrombie, Heather C; Chambers, Andrea S; Greischar, Lawrence; Monticelli, Roxanne M
Arousal-related processes associated with heightened heart rate (HR) predict memory enhancement, especially for emotionally arousing stimuli. In addition, phasic HR deceleration reflects "orienting" and sensory receptivity during perception of stimuli. We hypothesized that both tonic elevations in HR as well as phasic HR deceleration during viewing of pictures would be associated with deeper encoding and better subsequent memory for stimuli. Emotional pictures are more memorable and cause greater HR deceleration than neutral pictures. Thus, we predicted that the relations between cardiac activity and memory enhancement would be most pronounced for emotionally-laden compared to neutral pictures. We measured HR in 53 males during viewing of unpleasant, neutral, and pleasant pictures, and tested memory for the pictures two days later. Phasic HR deceleration during viewing of individual pictures was greater for subsequently remembered than forgotten pictures across all three emotion categories. Elevated mean HR across the entire encoding epoch also predicted better memory performance, but only for emotionally arousing pictures. Elevated mean HR and phasic HR deceleration were associated, such that individuals with greater tonic HR also showed greater HR decelerations during picture viewing, but only for emotionally arousing pictures. Results suggest that tonic elevations in HR are associated both with greater orienting and heightened memory for emotionally arousing stimuli.
Shiota, Michelle N; Neufeld, Samantha L; Yeung, Wan H; Moser, Stephanie E; Perea, Elaine F
Although dozens of studies have examined the autonomic nervous system (ANS) aspects of negative emotions, less is known about ANS responding in positive emotion. An evolutionary framework was used to define five positive emotions in terms of fitness-enhancing function, and to guide hypotheses regarding autonomic responding. In a repeated measures design, participants viewed sets of visual images eliciting these positive emotions (anticipatory enthusiasm, attachment love, nurturant love, amusement, and awe) plus an emotionally neutral state. Peripheral measures of sympathetic and vagal parasympathetic activation were assessed. Results indicated that the emotion conditions were characterized by qualitatively distinct profiles of autonomic activation, suggesting the existence of multiple, physiologically distinct positive emotions.
Naveh-Benjamin, Moshe; Maddox, Geoffrey B; Jones, Peter; Old, Susan; Kilb, Angela
In this study we assessed the potential moderating roles of stimulus type (emotionally arousing) and participants' characteristics (gender) in older adults' associative memory deficit. In two experiments, young and older participants studied lists that included neutral and emotionally arousing word pairs (positive and negative) and completed recognition tests for the words and their associations. In Experiment 1, the majority of the word pairs were composed of two nouns, whereas in Experiment 2 they were composed of adjective-noun pairs. The results extend evidence for older adults' associative deficit and suggest that older and younger adults' item memory is improved for emotionally arousing words. However, associative memory for the word pairs did not benefit (and even showed a slight decline) from emotionally arousing words, which was the case for both younger and older adults. In addition, in these experiments, gender appeared to moderate the associative deficit of older adults, with older males but not females demonstrating this deficit.
Kensinger, Elizabeth A.; Garoff-Eaton, Rachel J.; Schacter, Daniel L.
Two different types of trade-offs have been discussed with regard to memory for emotional information: A trade-off in the ability to remember the gist versus the visual detail of emotional information, and a trade-off in the ability to remember the central emotional elements of an event versus the nonemotional (peripheral) elements of that same…
Speer, Megan E.; Bhanji, Jamil P.; Delgado, Mauricio R.
Summary Reminders of happy memories can bring back pleasant feelings tied to the original experience, suggesting an intrinsic value in reminiscing about the positive past. However, the neural circuitry underlying the rewarding aspects of autobiographical memory is poorly understood. Using fMRI, we observed enhanced activity during the recall of positive relative to neutral autobiographical memories in corticostriatal circuits that also responded to monetary rewards. Enhanced activity in the striatum and medial prefrontal cortex was associated with increases in positive emotion during recall and striatal engagement further correlated with individual measures of resiliency. Striatal response to the recall of positive memories was greater in individuals whose mood improved after the task. Notably, participants were willing to sacrifice more tangible monetary rewards in order to reminisce about positive past experiences. Our findings suggest that recalling positive autobiographical memories is intrinsically valuable, which may be adaptive for regulating positive emotion and promoting better well-being. PMID:25451197
Boals, Adriel; Klein, Kitty
Current theories on autobiographical memory and recent neurological evidence suggest that emotional and non-emotional features of a memory may be retrieved by separate systems. To test this notion, 207 participants who had experienced the break-up of a significant romantic relationship in the last 12 months completed a Multidimensional Scaling (MDS) procedure in relation to the previous relationship. The resulting MDS model revealed two dimensions: a valence and an emotional/non-emotional dimension. Further, participants who associated a high level of distress with their relationship break-up perceived less dissimilarity between emotional and non-emotional features than participants who associated a low level of distress with their relationship break-up. Theoretical and methodological implications for stress and memory are discussed.
Philippe, Frederick L; Koestner, Richard; Lecours, Serge; Beaulieu-Pelletier, Genevieve; Bois, Katy
The present research examined the role of autobiographical memory networks on negative emotional experiences. Results from 2 studies found support for an active but also discriminant role of autobiographical memories and their related networked memories on negative emotions. In addition, in line with self-determination theory, thwarting of the psychological needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness was found to be the critical component of autobiographical memory affecting negative emotional experiences. Study 1 revealed that need thwarting in a specific autobiographical memory network related to the theme of loss was positively associated with depressive negative emotions, but not with other negative emotions. Study 2 showed within a prospective design a differential predictive validity between 2 autobiographical memory networks (an anger-related vs. a guilt-related memory) on situational anger reactivity with respect to unfair treatment. All of these results held after controlling for neuroticism (Studies 1 and 2), self-control (Study 2), and for the valence (Study 1) and emotions (Study 2) found in the measured autobiographical memory network. These findings highlight the ongoing emotional significance of representations of need thwarting in autobiographical memory networks.
Groch, S; Wilhelm, I; Diekelmann, S; Born, J
Emotional memories are vividly remembered for the long-term. Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep has been repeatedly proposed to support the superior retention of emotional memories. However, its exact contribution and, specifically, whether its effect is mainly on the consolidation of the contents or the processing of the affective component of emotional memories is not clear. Here, we investigated the effects of sleep rich in slow wave sleep (SWS) or REM sleep on the consolidation of emotional pictures and the accompanying changes in affective tone, using event-related potentials (ERPs) together with subjective ratings of valence and arousal. Sixteen healthy, young men learned 50 negative and 50 neutral pictures before 3-h retention sleep intervals that were filled with either SWS-rich early or REM sleep-rich late nocturnal sleep. In accordance with our hypothesis, recognition was better for emotional pictures than neutral pictures after REM compared to SWS-rich sleep. This emotional enhancement after REM-rich sleep expressed itself in an increased late positive potential of the ERP over the frontal cortex 300-500 ms after stimulus onset for correctly classified old emotional pictures compared with new emotional and neutral pictures. Valence and arousal ratings of emotional pictures were not differentially affected by REM or SWS-rich sleep after learning. Our results corroborate that REM sleep contributes to the consolidation of emotional contents in memory, but suggest that the affective tone is preserved rather than reduced by the processing of emotional memories during REM sleep.
Klein-Koerkamp, Yanica; Baciu, Monica; Hot, Pascal
Patients with early atrophy of both limbic structures involved in memory and emotion processing in Alzheimer's disease (AD) provide a unique clinical population for investigating how emotion is able to modulate retention processes. This review focuses on the emotional enhancement effect (EEE), defined as the improvement of memory for emotional events compared with neutral ones. The assessment of the EEE for different memory systems in AD suggests that the EEE could be preserved under specific retrieval instructions. The first part of this review examines these data in light of compelling evidence that the amygdala can modulate processes of hippocampus-dependent memory. We argue that the EEE could be a useful paradigm to reduce impairment in episodic memory tasks. In the second part, we discuss theoretical consequences of the findings in favor of an EEE, according to which a compensatory mechanism in patients with AD solicits greater amygdala functioning or additional networks, even when amygdala atrophy is present. These considerations emphasize the relevance of investigating patients with AD to understand the relationship between emotion and memory processes.
O'Carroll, Ronan E; Dalgleish, Tim; Drummond, Lyndsey E; Dritschel, Barbara; Astell, Arlene
Overgeneral autobiographical memory (OGM) is strongly associated with depression in adults and appears to reflect a stable cognitive bias. However, it is not known whether this bias exists in children or what factors contribute to its development. We examined the roles of age, dysphoria, and a new variable, emotion-focusing (EF), on the production of specific autobiographical memory (AM) in children, using the standard Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT; Williams & Broadbent, 1986 ). Results show that older children are more specific than younger children, irrespective of cue valence. Dysphoria was linked to less specific retrieval of positive memories in children. A three-way interaction between age, valence, and dysphoria was also found, such that older dysphoric children demonstrated a difficulty in retrieving specific negative memories. In addition, emotion-focusing was associated with specific AM recall, especially to negative cues. Results are discussed with reference to the development of depressogenic biases.
Srinivasan, Narayanan; Gupta, Rashmi
Effective filtering of distractor information has been shown to be dependent on perceptual load. Given the salience of emotional information and the presence of emotion-attention interactions, we wanted to explore the recognition memory for emotional distractors especially as a function of focused attention and distributed attention by manipulating load and the spatial spread of attention. We performed two experiments to study emotion-attention interactions by measuring recognition memory performance for distractor neutral and emotional faces. Participants performed a color discrimination task (low-load) or letter identification task (high-load) with a letter string display in Experiment 1 and a high-load letter identification task with letters presented in a circular array in Experiment 2. The stimuli were presented against a distractor face background. The recognition memory results show that happy faces were recognized better than sad faces under conditions of less focused or distributed attention. When attention is more spatially focused, sad faces were recognized better than happy faces. The study provides evidence for emotion-attention interactions in which specific emotional information like sad or happy is associated with focused or distributed attention respectively. Distractor processing with emotional information also has implications for theories of attention.
Kensinger, Elizabeth A
As adults age, they tend to have problems remembering the details of events and the contexts in which events occurred. This review presents evidence that emotion can enhance older adults' abilities to remember episodic detail. Older adults are more likely to remember affective details of an event (e.g., whether something was good or bad, or how an event made them feel) than they are to remember non-affective details, and they remember more details of emotional events than of non-emotional ones. Moreover, in some instances, emotion appears to narrow the age gap in memory performance. It may be that memory for affective context, or for emotional events, relies on cognitive and neural processes that are relatively preserved in older adults.
Yonelinas, Andrew P.; Ritchey, Maureen
Emotional events are remembered better than neutral events, and this emotion advantage becomes particularly pronounced over time. The time dependent effects of emotion impact recollection rather than familiarity-based recognition, and they influence recollection of item-specific details rather than contextual details. Moreover, the amygdala, but not the hippocampus, is critical in producing these effects. Time-dependent effects of emotion have been attributed to an emotional consolidation process whereby the amygdala gradually facilitates the storage of emotional memories by other medial temporal lobe regions. However, here we propose that these effects can be better understood by an emotional binding account whereby the amygdala mediates the recollection of item-emotion bindings that are forgotten more slowly than item-context bindings supported by the hippocampus. PMID:25836045
Paunovi, N; Lundh, L G; Ost, L G
A combined emotional Stroop, implicit memory (tachistoscopic identification) and explicit memory (free recall) task with three types of words (trauma-related, positive, and neutral) and two exposure conditions (subliminal and supraliminal) was administered to 39 crime victims with acute posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and 39 age- and sex-matched controls. PTSD subjects showed supraliminal Stroop interference for trauma-related words and a similar effect on positive words. A specific explicit memory bias was found for trauma-related words among the PTSD subjects, but no preattentive bias on the subliminally presented words, nor any implicit memory bias. Findings suggest that acute PTSD subjects have an attentional and memory bias for threat-related material. Methodological limitations of the study are reviewed, and it is proposed that further studies are needed in order to elucidate whether acute PTSD Ss display a preattentive and implicit memory bias for trauma-related material.
Sterpenich, Virginie; Albouy, Geneviève; Boly, Mélanie; Vandewalle, Gilles; Darsaud, Annabelle; Balteau, Evelyne; Dang-Vu, Thien Thanh; Desseilles, Martin; D'Argembeau, Arnaud; Gais, Steffen; Rauchs, Géraldine; Schabus, Manuel; Degueldre, Christian; Luxen, André; Collette, Fabienne; Maquet, Pierre
Emotional events are usually better remembered than neutral ones. This effect is mediated in part by a modulation of the hippocampus by the amygdala. Sleep plays a role in the consolidation of declarative memory. We examined the impact of sleep and lack of sleep on the consolidation of emotional (negative and positive) memories at the macroscopic systems level. Using functional MRI (fMRI), we compared the neural correlates of successful recollection by humans of emotional and neutral stimuli, 72 h after encoding, with or without total sleep deprivation during the first post-encoding night. In contrast to recollection of neutral and positive stimuli, which was deteriorated by sleep deprivation, similar recollection levels were achieved for negative stimuli in both groups. Successful recollection of emotional stimuli elicited larger responses in the hippocampus and various cortical areas, including the medial prefrontal cortex, in the sleep group than in the sleep deprived group. This effect was consistent across subjects for negative items but depended linearly on individual memory performance for positive items. In addition, the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex were functionally more connected during recollection of either negative or positive than neutral items, and more so in sleeping than in sleep-deprived subjects. In the sleep-deprived group, recollection of negative items elicited larger responses in the amygdala and an occipital area than in the sleep group. In contrast, no such difference in brain responses between groups was associated with recollection of positive stimuli. The results suggest that the emotional significance of memories influences their sleep-dependent systems-level consolidation. The recruitment of hippocampo-neocortical networks during recollection is enhanced after sleep and is hindered by sleep deprivation. After sleep deprivation, recollection of negative, potentially dangerous, memories recruits an alternate amygdalo
Brainerd, C. J.; Holliday, R. E.; Reyna, V. F.; Yang, Y.; Toglia, M. P.
Do the emotional valence and arousal of events distort children’s memories? Do valence and arousal modulate counterintuitive age increases in false memory? We investigated those questions in children, adolescents, and adults using the Cornell/Cortland Emotion Lists, a word list pool that induces false memories and in which valence and arousal can be manipulated factorially. False memories increased with age for unpresented semantic associates of word lists, and net accuracy (the ratio of true memory to total memory) decreased with age. These surprising developmental trends were more pronounced for negatively-valenced materials than for positively-valenced materials, they were more pronounced for high-arousal materials than for low-arousal materials, and developmental increases in the effects of arousal were small in comparison to developmental increases in the effects of valence. These findings have ramifications for legal applications of false-memory research: Materials that share the emotional hallmark of crimes (events that are negatively valenced and arousing) produced the largest age increases in false memory and the largest age declines in net accuracy. PMID:20547393
Brainerd, C J; Holliday, R E; Reyna, V F; Yang, Y; Toglia, M P
Do the emotional valence and arousal of events distort children's memories? Do valence and arousal modulate counterintuitive age increases in false memory? We investigated those questions in children, adolescents, and adults using the Cornell/Cortland Emotion Lists, a word list pool that induces false memories and in which valence and arousal can be manipulated factorially. False memories increased with age for unpresented semantic associates of word lists, and net accuracy (the ratio of true memory to total memory) decreased with age. These surprising developmental trends were more pronounced for negatively valenced materials than for positively valenced materials, they were more pronounced for high-arousal materials than for low-arousal materials, and developmental increases in the effects of arousal were small in comparison with developmental increases in the effects of valence. These findings have ramifications for legal applications of false memory research; materials that share the emotional hallmark of crimes (events that are negatively valenced and arousing) produced the largest age increases in false memory and the largest age declines in net accuracy.
Jones, Bethany J; Schultz, Kurt S; Adams, Sydney; Baran, Bengi; Spencer, Rebecca M C
Age-related memory decline has been proposed to result partially from impairments in memory consolidation over sleep. However, such decline may reflect a shift toward selective processing of positive information with age rather than impaired sleep-related mechanisms. In the present study, young and older adults viewed negative and neutral pictures or positive and neutral pictures and underwent a recognition test after sleep or wake. Subjective emotional reactivity and affect were also measured. Compared with waking, sleep preserved valence ratings and memory for positive but not negative pictures in older adults and negative but not positive pictures in young adults. In older adults, memory for positive pictures was associated with slow wave sleep. Furthermore, slow wave sleep predicted positive affect in older adults but was inversely related to positive affect in young adults. These relationships were strongest for older adults with high memory for positive pictures and young adults with high memory for negative pictures. Collectively, these results indicate preserved but selective sleep-dependent memory processing with healthy aging that may be biased to enhance emotional well-being.
Baumeister, Jenny C.; Foroni, Francesco; Conrad, Markus; Rumiati, Raffaella I.; Winkielman, Piotr
Language and emotions are closely linked. However, previous research suggests that this link is stronger in a native language (L1) than in a second language (L2) that had been learned later in life. The present study investigates whether such reduced emotionality in L2 is reflected in changes in emotional memory and embodied responses to L2 in comparison to L1. Late Spanish/English bilinguals performed a memory task involving an encoding and a surprise retrieval phase. Facial motor resonance and skin conductance (SC) responses were recorded during encoding. The results give first indications that the enhanced memory for emotional vs. neutral content (EEM effect) is stronger in L1 and less present in L2. Furthermore, the results give partial support for decreased facial motor resonance and SC responses to emotional words in L2 as compared to L1. These findings suggest that embodied knowledge involved in emotional memory is associated to increased affective encoding and retrieval of L1 compared to L2. PMID:28386240
Boitard, Chloé; Maroun, Mouna; Tantot, Frédéric; Cavaroc, Amandine; Sauvant, Julie; Marchand, Alain; Layé, Sophie; Capuron, Lucile; Darnaudery, Muriel; Castanon, Nathalie; Coutureau, Etienne; Vouimba, Rose-Marie; Ferreira, Guillaume
In addition to metabolic and cardiovascular disorders, obesity is associated with adverse cognitive and emotional outcomes. Its growing prevalence during adolescence is particularly alarming since recent evidence indicates that obesity can affect hippocampal function during this developmental period. Adolescence is a decisive period for maturation of the amygdala and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) stress axis, both required for lifelong cognitive and emotional processing. However, little data are available on the impact of obesity during adolescence on amygdala function. Herein, we therefore evaluate in rats whether juvenile high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity alters amygdala-dependent emotional memory and whether it depends on HPA axis deregulation. Exposure to HFD from weaning to adulthood, i.e., covering adolescence, enhances long-term emotional memories as assessed by odor-malaise and tone-shock associations. Juvenile HFD also enhances emotion-induced neuronal activation of the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA), which correlates with protracted plasma corticosterone release. HFD exposure restricted to adulthood does not modify all these parameters, indicating adolescence is a vulnerable period to the effects of HFD-induced obesity. Finally, exaggerated emotional memory and BLA synaptic plasticity after juvenile HFD are alleviated by a glucocorticoid receptor antagonist. Altogether, our results demonstrate that juvenile HFD alters HPA axis reactivity leading to an enhancement of amygdala-dependent synaptic and memory processes. Adolescence represents a period of increased susceptibility to the effects of diet-induced obesity on amygdala function.
Talmi, Deborah; Ziegler, Marilyne; Hawksworth, Jade; Lalani, Safina; Herman, C Peter; Moscovitch, Morris
Because emotional and neutral stimuli typically differ on non-emotional dimensions, it has been difficult to determine conclusively which factors underlie the ability of emotional stimuli to enhance immediate long-term memory. Here we induced arousal by varying participants' goals, a method that removes many potential confounds between emotional and non-emotional items. Hungry and sated participants encoded food and clothing images under divided attention conditions. Sated participants attended to and recalled food and clothing images equivalently. Hungry participants performed worse on the concurrent tone-discrimination task when they viewed food relative to clothing images, suggesting enhanced attention to food images, and they recalled more food than clothing images. A follow-up regression analysis of the factors predicting memory for individual pictures revealed that food images had parallel effects on attention and memory in hungry participants, so that enhanced attention to food images did not predict their enhanced memory. We suggest that immediate long-term memory for food is enhanced in the hungry state because hunger leads to more distinctive processing of food images rendering them more accessible during retrieval.
Lam, Catherine K; Huang, Xu; Janssen, Onne
In this study, we investigated how supervisors' emotional exhaustion and service climate jointly influence the relationship between subordinates' emotional exhaustion and their display of positive emotions at work. Using data from frontline sales employees and their immediate supervisors in a fashion retailer, we hypothesized and found that under the condition of a less positive service climate, subordinates' emotional exhaustion was more negatively related to their positive emotional display when supervisors' emotional exhaustion was higher rather than lower; this interaction effect of subordinates' and supervisors' emotional exhaustion was not significant in a more positive service climate. These results suggest that service climate and supervisors' emotional exhaustion provide emotionally exhausted employees with important information cues about the possible availability of compensatory resources they need to uphold their efforts to display service-focused emotions.
Kheirzadeh, Shiela; Hajiabed, Mohammadreza
The present interdisciplinary research investigates the differential emotional expression between Persian monolinguals and Persian-English bilinguals. In other words, the article was an attempt to answer the questions whether bilinguals and monolinguals differ in the expression of positive and negative emotions elicited through sad and happy autobiographies and measured through UWIST Mood Adjective Checklist. The result of this pioneering work indicated no significant difference between Persian monolinguals and Persian-English bilinguals in expressing happy memories while differences were observed on sad memories. Bilinguals expressed more negative emotions in their L2 than L1. This outcome support the dominant claim that second language is the preferred language for the expression of sad emotions since it is the language of emotional detachment and distance. Further analysis on the number of words bilinguals and monolinguals used to express both sad and happy autobiographies indicated that bilinguals used more words in expressing both sad and happy autobiographies.
Barlow, M Rose
Eleven women with dissociative identity disorder (DID) participated in an experiment that included a variety of memory measures. DID participants were faster than a group of 13 female students at producing autobiographical memories in response to cue words. DID participants had difficulty answering detailed questions about a story containing fear compared with a neutral story; the student group did not. The DID group reported experiencing significantly more childhood trauma than did the student group. Effect sizes were moderate to high. This preliminary study uses a broad conceptualization of memory functioning, combining ecologically valid testing with experimental paradigms and addressing the impact of emotion on memory in trauma survivors.
Bastian, Brock; Kuppens, Peter; De Roover, Kim; Diener, Ed
The experience of positive emotion is closely linked to subjective well-being. For this reason, campaigns aimed at promoting the value of positive emotion have become widespread. What is rarely considered are the cultural implications of this focus on happiness. Promoting positive emotions as important for "the good life" not only has implications for how individuals value these emotional states, but for how they believe others around them value these emotions also. Drawing on data from over 9,000 college students across 47 countries we examined whether individuals' life satisfaction is associated with living in contexts in which positive emotions are socially valued. The findings show that people report more life satisfaction in countries where positive emotions are highly valued and this is linked to an increased frequency of positive emotional experiences in these contexts. They also reveal, however, that increased life satisfaction in countries that place a premium on positive emotion is less evident for people who tend to experience less valued emotional states: people who experience many negative emotions, do not flourish to the same extent in these contexts. The findings demonstrate how the cultural value placed on certain emotion states may shape the relationship between emotional experiences and subjective well-being.
Quas, Jodi A; Rush, Elizabeth B; Yim, Ilona S; Edelstein, Robin S; Otgaar, Henry; Smeets, Tom
Despite considerable interest in understanding how stress influences memory accuracy and errors, particularly in children, methodological limitations have made it difficult to examine the effects of stress independent of the effects of the emotional valence of to-be-remembered information in developmental populations. In this study, we manipulated stress levels in 7-8- and 12-14-year-olds and then exposed them to negative, neutral, and positive word lists. Shortly afterward, we tested their recognition memory for the words and false memory for non-presented but related words. Adolescents in the high-stress condition were more accurate than those in the low-stress condition, while children's accuracy did not differ across stress conditions. Also, among adolescents, accuracy and errors were higher for the negative than positive words, while in children, word valence was unrelated to accuracy. Finally, increases in children's and adolescents' cortisol responses, especially in the high-stress condition, were related to greater accuracy but not false memories and only for positive emotional words. Findings suggest that stress at encoding, as well as the emotional content of to-be-remembered information, may influence memory in different ways across development, highlighting the need for greater complexity in existing models of true and false memory formation.
Bluck, Susan; Alea, Nicole
The characteristics of positive autobiographical memory narratives were examined in younger and older adults. Narratives were content-coded for the extent to which they contained indicators of affect, sensory imagery, and cognition. Affect was additionally assessed through self-report. Young adults expressed more positive affect and less sensory…
Ballard, Michael E.; Weafer, Jessica; Gallo, David A.; de Wit, Harriet
Understanding how stimulant drugs affect memory is important for understanding their addictive potential. Here we examined the effects of acute d-methamphetamine (METH), administered either before (encoding phase) or immediately after (consolidation phase) study on memory for emotional and neutral images in healthy humans. Young adult volunteers (N = 60) were randomly assigned to either an encoding group (N = 29) or a consolidation group (N = 31). Across three experimental sessions, they received placebo and two doses of METH (10, 20 mg) either 45 min before (encoding) or immediately after (consolidation) viewing pictures of emotionally positive, neutral, and negative scenes. Memory for the pictures was tested two days later, under drug-free conditions. Half of the sample reported sleep disturbances following the high dose of METH, which affected their memory performance. Therefore, participants were classified as poor sleepers (less than 6 hours; n = 29) or adequate sleepers (6 or more hours; n = 31) prior to analyses. For adequate sleepers, METH (20 mg) administered before encoding significantly improved memory accuracy relative to placebo, especially for emotional (positive and negative), compared to neutral, stimuli. For poor sleepers in the encoding group, METH impaired memory. METH did not affect memory in the consolidation group regardless of sleep quality. These results extend previous findings showing that METH can enhance memory for salient emotional stimuli but only if it is present at the time of study, where it can affect both encoding and consolidation. METH does not appear to facilitate consolidation if administered after encoding. The study also demonstrates the important role of sleep in memory studies. PMID:25679982
Ballard, Michael E; Weafer, Jessica; Gallo, David A; de Wit, Harriet
Understanding how stimulant drugs affect memory is important for understanding their addictive potential. Here we examined the effects of acute d-methamphetamine (METH), administered either before (encoding phase) or immediately after (consolidation phase) study on memory for emotional and neutral images in healthy humans. Young adult volunteers (N = 60) were randomly assigned to either an encoding group (N = 29) or a consolidation group (N = 31). Across three experimental sessions, they received placebo and two doses of METH (10, 20 mg) either 45 min before (encoding) or immediately after (consolidation) viewing pictures of emotionally positive, neutral, and negative scenes. Memory for the pictures was tested two days later, under drug-free conditions. Half of the sample reported sleep disturbances following the high dose of METH, which affected their memory performance. Therefore, participants were classified as poor sleepers (less than 6 hours; n = 29) or adequate sleepers (6 or more hours; n = 31) prior to analyses. For adequate sleepers, METH (20 mg) administered before encoding significantly improved memory accuracy relative to placebo, especially for emotional (positive and negative), compared to neutral, stimuli. For poor sleepers in the encoding group, METH impaired memory. METH did not affect memory in the consolidation group regardless of sleep quality. These results extend previous findings showing that METH can enhance memory for salient emotional stimuli but only if it is present at the time of study, where it can affect both encoding and consolidation. METH does not appear to facilitate consolidation if administered after encoding. The study also demonstrates the important role of sleep in memory studies.
Quoniam, Nolwenn; Ergis, Anne-Marie; Fossati, Philippe; Peretz, Isabelle; Samson, Séverine; Sarazin, Marie; Allilaire, Jean-François
The present study investigates the impact of emotional deficits on implicit and explicit memory for musical stimuli in patients with Alzheimer's disease and elderly depressed patients. Results showed that unlike Alzheimer's patients, depressed patients were unable to develop a positive affective bias of judgment for previously heard melodies.
Rowe, Anna Dluzewska; Fitness, Julie; Wood, Leigh Norma
This paper presents results of an investigation exploring the experience and functionality of positive feelings and emotions in learning and teaching. The role of emotions in learning is receiving increasing attention; however, few studies have researched how university students and academics experience and perceive positive emotions. A prototype…
Romer, Natalie; Ravitch, N. Kathryn; Tom, Karalyn; Merrell, Kenneth W.; Wesley, Katherine L.
We investigated gender differences of children and adolescents on positive social and emotional competencies using a new strength-based measure of positive social-emotional attributes and resilience--the Social-Emotional Assets and Resilience Scales (SEARS) cross-informant system. Caregivers, teachers, and students in grades kindergarten through…
Galli, Giulia; Griffiths, Victoria A; Otten, Leun J
It has been shown that the effectiveness with which unpleasant events are encoded into memory is related to brain activity set in train before the events. Here, we assessed whether encoding-related activity before an aversive event can be modulated by emotion regulation. Electrical brain activity was recorded from the scalps of healthy women while they performed an incidental encoding task on randomly intermixed unpleasant and neutral visual scenes. A cue presented 1.5 s before each picture indicated the upcoming valence. In half of the blocks of trials, the instructions emphasized to let emotions arise in a natural way. In the other half, participants were asked to decrease their emotional response by adopting the perspective of a detached observer. Memory for the scenes was probed 1 day later with a recognition memory test. Brain activity before unpleasant scenes predicted later memory of the scenes, but only when participants felt their emotions and did not detach from them. The findings indicate that emotion regulation can eliminate the influence of anticipatory brain activity on memory encoding. This may be relevant for the understanding and treatment of psychiatric diseases with a memory component.
Montagne, Barbara; Sierra, Mauricio; Medford, Nick; Hunter, Elaine; Baker, Dawn; Kessels, Roy P C; de Haan, Edward H F; David, Anthony S
Previous work has shown that patients with depersonalization disorder (DPD) have reduced physiological responses to emotional stimuli, which may be related to subjective emotional numbing. This study investigated two aspects of affective processing in 13 patients with DPD according to the DSM-IV criteria and healthy controls: the perception of emotional facial expressions (anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise) and memory for emotional stimuli. Results revealed a specific lack of sensitivity to facial expression of anger in patients, but normal enhancement of memory for peripheral aspects of arousing emotional material. The results are consistent with altered processing of threat-related stimuli but intact consolidation processes, at least when the stimuli involved are potently arousing.
Mikolajczak, Moïra; Roy, Emmanuel; Verstrynge, Valéry; Luminet, Olivier
Trait emotional intelligence (trait EI) refers to individual differences in the experience, perception, regulation, and utilization of emotions. Research has shown that trait EI moderated subjective and endocrine responses to both natural and laboratory stressors. This study explores, the cognitive processes underlying this effect, under the hypothesis that trait EI moderates the impact of stress on memory and/or attention. Results supported the hypothesis, but solely for the 'regulation' EI-dimension (named self-control or SC). In neutral conditions, high SC was characterized by an attentional focus to neutral material and a facilitated memory for positive events, whereas low SC was characterized by an attentional focus to emotional material (regardless of valence) and a facilitated memory for negative events. In stressful conditions, high SC individuals engaged attention to emotional material (regardless of valence) and recalled more negative events, while low SC individuals disengaged attention from emotional material and recalled more positive events.
Mills, Caitlin; D'Mello, Sidney
The Autobiographical Emotional Memory Task (AEMT), which involves recalling and writing about intense emotional experiences, is a widely used method to experimentally induce emotions. The validity of this method depends upon the extent to which it can induce specific desired emotions (intended emotions), while not inducing any other (incidental) emotions at different levels across one (or more) conditions. A review of recent studies that used this method indicated that most studies exclusively monitor post-writing ratings of the intended emotions, without assessing the possibility that the method may have differentially induced other incidental emotions as well. We investigated the extent of this issue by collecting both pre- and post-writing ratings of incidental emotions in addition to the intended emotions. Using methods largely adapted from previous studies, participants were assigned to write about a profound experience of anger or fear (Experiment 1) or happiness or sadness (Experiment 2). In line with previous research, results indicated that intended emotions (anger and fear) were successfully induced in the respective conditions in Experiment 1. However, disgust and sadness were also induced while writing about an angry experience compared to a fearful experience. Similarly, although happiness and sadness were induced in the appropriate conditions, Experiment 2 indicated that writing about a sad experience also induced disgust, fear, and anger, compared to writing about a happy experience. Possible resolutions to avoid the limitations of the AEMT to induce specific discrete emotions are discussed. PMID:24776697
Ertman, Nicole; Andreano, Joseph M.; Cahill, Larry
Significant sex differences in the well-documented relationship between stress hormones and memory have emerged in recent studies. The potentiating effects of glucocorticoids on memory vary across the menstrual cycle, suggesting a potential interaction between these stress hormones and endogenously cycling sex hormones. Here, we show that memory…
Grosso, A; Cambiaghi, M; Concina, G; Sacco, T; Sacchetti, B
Emotional memories represent the core of human and animal life and drive future choices and behaviors. Early research involving brain lesion studies in animals lead to the idea that the auditory cortex participates in emotional learning by processing the sensory features of auditory stimuli paired with emotional consequences and by transmitting this information to the amygdala. Nevertheless, electrophysiological and imaging studies revealed that, following emotional experiences, the auditory cortex undergoes learning-induced changes that are highly specific, associative and long lasting. These studies suggested that the role played by the auditory cortex goes beyond stimulus elaboration and transmission. Here, we discuss three major perspectives created by these data. In particular, we analyze the possible roles of the auditory cortex in emotional learning, we examine the recruitment of the auditory cortex during early and late memory trace encoding, and finally we consider the functional interplay between the auditory cortex and subcortical nuclei, such as the amygdala, that process affective information. We conclude that, starting from the early phase of memory encoding, the auditory cortex has a more prominent role in emotional learning, through its connections with subcortical nuclei, than is typically acknowledged.
Hutchison, Isabel C.; Rathore, Shailendra
While non-REM (NREM) sleep has been strongly implicated in the reactivation and consolidation of memory traces, the role of rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep remains unclear. A growing body of research on humans and animals provide behavioral evidence for a role of REM sleep in the strengthening and modulation of emotional memories. Theta activity—which describes low frequency oscillations in the local field potential within the hippocampus, amygdala and neocortex—is a prominent feature of both wake and REM sleep in humans and rodents. Theta coherence between the hippocampus and amygdala drives large-scale pontine-geniculo-occipital (PGO) waves, the density of which predicts increases in plasticity-related gene expression. This could potentially facilitate the processing of emotional memory traces within the hippocampus during REM sleep. Further, the timing of hippocampal activity in relation to theta phase is vital in determining subsequent potentiation of neuronal activity. This could allow the emotionally modulated strengthening of novel and gradual weakening of consolidated hippocampal memory traces during REM sleep. Hippocampal theta activity is also correlated with REM sleep levels of achetylcholine - which is thought to reduce hippocampal inputs in the neocortex. The additional low levels of noradrenaline during REM sleep, which facilitate feedback within the neocortex, could allow the integration of novel memory traces previously consolidated during NREM sleep. We therefore propose that REM sleep mediates the prioritized processing of emotional memories within the hippocampus, the integration of previously consolidated memory traces within the neocortex, as well as the disengagement of consolidated neocortical memory traces from the hippocampus. PMID:26483709
Hutchison, Isabel C; Rathore, Shailendra
While non-REM (NREM) sleep has been strongly implicated in the reactivation and consolidation of memory traces, the role of rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep remains unclear. A growing body of research on humans and animals provide behavioral evidence for a role of REM sleep in the strengthening and modulation of emotional memories. Theta activity-which describes low frequency oscillations in the local field potential within the hippocampus, amygdala and neocortex-is a prominent feature of both wake and REM sleep in humans and rodents. Theta coherence between the hippocampus and amygdala drives large-scale pontine-geniculo-occipital (PGO) waves, the density of which predicts increases in plasticity-related gene expression. This could potentially facilitate the processing of emotional memory traces within the hippocampus during REM sleep. Further, the timing of hippocampal activity in relation to theta phase is vital in determining subsequent potentiation of neuronal activity. This could allow the emotionally modulated strengthening of novel and gradual weakening of consolidated hippocampal memory traces during REM sleep. Hippocampal theta activity is also correlated with REM sleep levels of achetylcholine - which is thought to reduce hippocampal inputs in the neocortex. The additional low levels of noradrenaline during REM sleep, which facilitate feedback within the neocortex, could allow the integration of novel memory traces previously consolidated during NREM sleep. We therefore propose that REM sleep mediates the prioritized processing of emotional memories within the hippocampus, the integration of previously consolidated memory traces within the neocortex, as well as the disengagement of consolidated neocortical memory traces from the hippocampus.
Lehmann, Mick; Schreiner, Thomas; Seifritz, Erich; Rasch, Björn
Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is considered to preferentially reprocess emotionally arousing memories. We tested this hypothesis by cueing emotional vs. neutral memories during REM and NREM sleep and wakefulness by presenting associated verbal memory cues after learning. Here we show that cueing during NREM sleep significantly improved memory for emotional pictures, while no cueing benefit was observed during REM sleep. On the oscillatory level, successful memory cueing during NREM sleep resulted in significant increases in theta and spindle oscillations with stronger responses for emotional than neutral memories. In contrast during REM sleep, solely cueing of neutral (but not emotional) memories was associated with increases in theta activity. Our results do not support a preferential role of REM sleep for emotional memories, but rather suggest that emotional arousal modulates memory replay and consolidation processes and their oscillatory correlates during NREM sleep. PMID:27982120
Lehmann, Mick; Schreiner, Thomas; Seifritz, Erich; Rasch, Björn
Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is considered to preferentially reprocess emotionally arousing memories. We tested this hypothesis by cueing emotional vs. neutral memories during REM and NREM sleep and wakefulness by presenting associated verbal memory cues after learning. Here we show that cueing during NREM sleep significantly improved memory for emotional pictures, while no cueing benefit was observed during REM sleep. On the oscillatory level, successful memory cueing during NREM sleep resulted in significant increases in theta and spindle oscillations with stronger responses for emotional than neutral memories. In contrast during REM sleep, solely cueing of neutral (but not emotional) memories was associated with increases in theta activity. Our results do not support a preferential role of REM sleep for emotional memories, but rather suggest that emotional arousal modulates memory replay and consolidation processes and their oscillatory correlates during NREM sleep.
Vaillant, George E.
This paper proposes that eight positive emotions: awe, love (attachment), trust (faith), compassion, gratitude, forgiveness, joy and hope constitute what we mean by spirituality. These emotions have been grossly ignored by psychiatry. The two sciences that I shall employ to demonstrate this definition of spirituality will be ethology and neuroscience. They are both very new. I will argue that spirituality is not about ideas, sacred texts and theology; rather, spirituality is all about emotion and social connection. Specific religions, for all their limitations, are often the portal through which positive emotions are brought into conscious attention. Neither Freud nor psychiatric textbooks ever mention emotions like joy and gratitude. Hymns and psalms give these emotions pride of place. Our whole concept of psychotherapy might change if clinicians set about enhancing positive emotions rather than focusing only on negative emotions. PMID:22013350
Horchak, Oleksandr V.; Giger, Jean-Christophe; Pochwatko, Grzegorz
Recent research has suggested that emotional sentences are understood by constructing an emotion simulation of the events being described. The present study aims to investigate whether emotion simulation is also involved in online and offline comprehension of larger language segments such as discourse. Participants read a target text describing…
Anderson, Adam K.; Steidl, Stephan; Mohi-uddin, Salwa
Extensive evidence documents emotional modulation of hippocampus-dependent declarative memory in humans. However, little is known about the emotional modulation of striatum-dependent procedural memory. To address how emotional arousal influences declarative and procedural memory, the current study utilized (1) a picture recognition and (2) a…
Ritchey, Maureen; LaBar, Kevin S.; Cabeza, Roberto
Emotion is known to influence multiple aspects of memory formation, including the initial encoding of the memory trace and its consolidation over time. However, the neural mechanisms whereby emotion impacts memory encoding remain largely unexplored. The present study used a levels-of-processing manipulation to characterize the impact of emotion on…
Vieillard, Sandrine; Gilet, Anne-Laure
There is mounting evidence that aging is associated with the maintenance of positive affect and the decrease of negative affect to ensure emotion regulation goals. Previous empirical studies have primarily focused on a visual or autobiographical form of emotion communication. To date, little investigation has been done on musical emotions. The few studies that have addressed aging and emotions in music were mainly interested in emotion recognition, thus leaving unexplored the question of how aging may influence emotional responses to and memory for emotions conveyed by music. In the present study, eighteen older (60–84 years) and eighteen younger (19–24 years) listeners were asked to evaluate the strength of their experienced emotion on happy, peaceful, sad, and scary musical excerpts (Vieillard et al., 2008) while facial muscle activity was recorded. Participants then performed an incidental recognition task followed by a task in which they judged to what extent they experienced happiness, peacefulness, sadness, and fear when listening to music. Compared to younger adults, older adults (a) reported a stronger emotional reactivity for happiness than other emotion categories, (b) showed an increased zygomatic activity for scary stimuli, (c) were more likely to falsely recognize happy music, and (d) showed a decrease in their responsiveness to sad and scary music. These results are in line with previous findings and extend them to emotion experience and memory recognition, corroborating the view of age-related changes in emotional responses to music in a positive direction away from negativity. PMID:24137141
Vieillard, Sandrine; Gilet, Anne-Laure
There is mounting evidence that aging is associated with the maintenance of positive affect and the decrease of negative affect to ensure emotion regulation goals. Previous empirical studies have primarily focused on a visual or autobiographical form of emotion communication. To date, little investigation has been done on musical emotions. The few studies that have addressed aging and emotions in music were mainly interested in emotion recognition, thus leaving unexplored the question of how aging may influence emotional responses to and memory for emotions conveyed by music. In the present study, eighteen older (60-84 years) and eighteen younger (19-24 years) listeners were asked to evaluate the strength of their experienced emotion on happy, peaceful, sad, and scary musical excerpts (Vieillard et al., 2008) while facial muscle activity was recorded. Participants then performed an incidental recognition task followed by a task in which they judged to what extent they experienced happiness, peacefulness, sadness, and fear when listening to music. Compared to younger adults, older adults (a) reported a stronger emotional reactivity for happiness than other emotion categories, (b) showed an increased zygomatic activity for scary stimuli, (c) were more likely to falsely recognize happy music, and (d) showed a decrease in their responsiveness to sad and scary music. These results are in line with previous findings and extend them to emotion experience and memory recognition, corroborating the view of age-related changes in emotional responses to music in a positive direction away from negativity.
Becerril, Karla; Barch, Deanna
Research on emotional processing in schizophrenia suggests relatively intact subjective responses to affective stimuli “in the moment.” However, neuroimaging evidence suggests diminished activation in brain regions associated with emotional processing in schizophrenia. We asked whether given a more vulnerable cognitive system in schizophrenia, individuals with this disorder would show increased or decreased modulation of working memory (WM) as a function of the emotional content of stimuli compared with healthy control subjects. In addition, we examined whether higher anhedonia levels were associated with a diminished impact of emotion on behavioral and brain activation responses. In the present study, 38 individuals with schizophrenia and 32 healthy individuals completed blocks of a 2-back WM task in a functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning session. Blocks contained faces displaying either only neutral stimuli or neutral and emotional stimuli (happy or fearful faces), randomly intermixed and occurring both as targets and non-targets. Both groups showed higher accuracy but slower reaction time for negative compared to neutral stimuli. Individuals with schizophrenia showed intact amygdala activity in response to emotionally evocative stimuli, but demonstrated altered dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and hippocampal activity while performing an emotionally loaded WM-task. Higher levels of social anhedonia were associated with diminished amygdala responses to emotional stimuli and increased DLPFC activity in individuals with schizophrenia. Emotional arousal may challenge dorsal-frontal control systems, which may have both beneficial and detrimental influences. Our findings suggest that disturbances in emotional processing in schizophrenia relate to alterations in emotion-cognition interactions rather than to the perception and subjective experience of emotion per se. PMID:20176860
Becerril, Karla; Barch, Deanna
Research on emotional processing in schizophrenia suggests relatively intact subjective responses to affective stimuli "in the moment." However, neuroimaging evidence suggests diminished activation in brain regions associated with emotional processing in schizophrenia. We asked whether given a more vulnerable cognitive system in schizophrenia, individuals with this disorder would show increased or decreased modulation of working memory (WM) as a function of the emotional content of stimuli compared with healthy control subjects. In addition, we examined whether higher anhedonia levels were associated with a diminished impact of emotion on behavioral and brain activation responses. In the present study, 38 individuals with schizophrenia and 32 healthy individuals completed blocks of a 2-back WM task in a functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning session. Blocks contained faces displaying either only neutral stimuli or neutral and emotional stimuli (happy or fearful faces), randomly intermixed and occurring both as targets and non-targets. Both groups showed higher accuracy but slower reaction time for negative compared to neutral stimuli. Individuals with schizophrenia showed intact amygdala activity in response to emotionally evocative stimuli, but demonstrated altered dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and hippocampal activity while performing an emotionally loaded WM-task. Higher levels of social anhedonia were associated with diminished amygdala responses to emotional stimuli and increased DLPFC activity in individuals with schizophrenia. Emotional arousal may challenge dorsal-frontal control systems, which may have both beneficial and detrimental influences. Our findings suggest that disturbances in emotional processing in schizophrenia relate to alterations in emotion-cognition interactions rather than to the perception and subjective experience of emotion per se.
Nezlek, John B; Kuppens, Peter
The present study examined how people regulate their emotions in daily life and how such regulation is related to their daily affective experience and psychological adjustment. Each day for an average of 3 weeks, participants described how they had regulated their emotions in terms of the reappraisal and suppression (inhibiting the expression) of positive and negative emotions, and they described their emotional experience, self-esteem, and psychological adjustment in terms of Beck's triadic model of depression. Reappraisal was used more often than suppression, and suppressing positive emotions was used less than the other three strategies. In general, regulation through reappraisal was found to be beneficial, whereas regulation by suppression was not. Reappraisal of positive emotions was associated with increases in positive affect, self-esteem, and psychological adjustment, whereas suppressing positive emotions was associated with decreased positive emotion, self-esteem, and psychological adjustment, and increased negative emotions. Moreover, relationships between reappraisal and psychological adjustment and self-esteem were mediated by experienced positive affect, whereas relationships between suppression of positive emotions and self-esteem adjustment were mediated by negative affect.
Grysman, Azriel; Merrill, Natalie; Fivush, Robyn
Gender differences in the emotional intensity and content of autobiographical memory (AM) are inconsistent across studies, and may be influenced as much by gender identity as by categorical gender. To explore this question, data were collected from 196 participants (age 18-40), split evenly between men and women. Participants narrated four memories, a neutral event, high point event, low point event, and self-defining memory, completed ratings of emotional intensity for each event, and completed four measures of gender typical identity. For self-reported emotional intensity, gender differences in AM were mediated by identification with stereotypical feminine gender norms. For narrative use of affect terms, both gender and gender typical identity predicted affective expression. The results confirm contextual models of gender identity (e.g., Diamond, 2012 . The desire disorder in research on sexual orientation in women: Contributions of dynamical systems theory. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 41, 73-83) and underscore the dynamic interplay between gender and gender identity in the emotional expression of autobiographical memories.
Curci, Antonietta; Lanciano, Tiziana; Soleti, Emanuela; Rimé, Bernard
Following an emotional experience, individuals are confronted with the persistence of ruminative thoughts that disturb the undertaking of other activities. In the present study, we experimentally tested the idea that experiencing a negative emotion triggers a ruminative process that drains working memory (WM) resources normally devoted to other tasks. Undergraduate participants of high versus low WM capacity were administered the operation-word memory span test (OSPAN) as a measure of availability of WM resources preceding and following the presentation of negative emotional versus neutral material. Rumination was assessed immediately after the second OSPAN session and at a 24-hr delay. Results showed that both the individual's WM capacity and the emotional valence of the material influenced WM performance and the persistence of ruminative thoughts. Following the experimental induction, rumination mediated the relationship between the negative emotional state and the concomitant WM performance. Based on these results, we argue that ruminative processes deplete WM resources, making them less available for concurrent tasks; in addition, rumination tends to persist over time. These findings have implications for the theoretical modeling of the long-term effects of emotions in both daily life and clinical contexts.
Ong, Anthony D; Zautra, Alex J; Reid, M Carrington
The study used a daily process design to examine the role of psychological resilience and positive emotions in the day-to-day experience of pain catastrophizing. A sample of 95 men and women with chronic pain completed initial assessments of neuroticism, psychological resilience, and demographic data, and then completed short diaries regarding pain intensity, pain catastrophizing, and positive and negative emotions every day for 14 consecutive days. Multilevel modeling analyses indicated that independent of level of neuroticism, negative emotions, pain intensity, income, and age, high-resilient individuals reported greater positive emotions and exhibited lower day-to-day pain catastrophizing compared with low-resilient individuals. Mediation analyses revealed that psychologically resilient individuals rebound from daily pain catastrophizing through experiences of positive emotion. Implications for research on psychological resilience, pain catastrophizing, and positive emotions are discussed.
Cai, Denise J.; Sano, Yoshitake; Lee, Yong-Seok; Zhou, Yu; Bekal, Pallavi; Deisseroth, Karl; Silva, Alcino J.
Recent findings suggest that memory allocation to specific neurons (i.e., neuronal allocation) in the amygdala is not random, but rather the transcription factor cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB) modulates this process, perhaps by regulating the transcription of channels that control neuronal excitability. Here, optogenetic studies in the mouse lateral amygdala (LA) were used to demonstrate that CREB and neuronal excitability regulate which neurons encode an emotional memory. To test the role of CREB in memory allocation, we overexpressed CREB in the lateral amygdala to recruit the encoding of an auditory-fear conditioning (AFC) memory to a subset of neurons. Then, post-training activation of these neurons with Channelrhodopsin-2 was sufficient to trigger recall of the memory for AFC, suggesting that CREB regulates memory allocation. To test the role of neuronal excitability in memory allocation, we used a step function opsin (SFO) to transiently increase neuronal excitability in a subset of LA neurons during AFC. Post-training activation of these neurons with Volvox Channelrhodopsin-1 was able to trigger recall of that memory. Importantly, our studies show that activation of the SFO did not affect AFC by either increasing anxiety or by strengthening the unconditioned stimulus. Our findings strongly support the hypothesis that CREB regulates memory allocation by modulating neuronal excitability. PMID:27579481
Rimmele, Ulrike; Domes, Gregor; Mathiak, Klaus; Hautzinger, Martin
Adrenal stress hormones are considered to play a role in memory enhancement of emotionally arousing events. To investigate the effects of cortisol on human emotional memory, subjects were administered hydrocortisone (25 mg) or placebo and presented with either an emotionally arousing or a neutral story. Memory for the story was tested 1 week later. In all memory tests, subjects who viewed the emotional story scored better for the emotionally arousing story parts, indicating that arousal enhances memory. In memory of details, cortisol showed an interaction with story valence but no main effect: cortisol enhanced memory for details of the neutral story version, but impaired memory for details of the emotionally arousing version. We thus confirm a non-linear interaction between cortisol and arousal on memory formation.
Rice, John A; Levine, Linda J; Pizarro, David A
Children regulate negative emotions in a variety of ways. Emotion education programs typically discourage emotional disengagement and encourage emotional engagement or "working through" negative emotions. The authors examined the effects of emotional disengagement and engagement on children's memory for educational material. Children averaging 7 or 10 years of age (N=200) watched either a sad or an emotionally neutral film and were then instructed to emotionally disengage, instructed to engage in problem solving concerning their emotion, or received no emotion regulation instructions. All children then watched and were asked to recall the details of an emotionally neutral educational film. Children instructed to disengage remembered the educational film better than children instructed to work through their feelings or children who received no emotion regulation instructions. Although past research has indicated that specific forms of emotional disengagement can impair memory for emotionally relevant events, the current findings suggest that disengagement is a useful short-term strategy for regulating mild negative emotion in educational settings.
Landré, Lionel; Sava, Alina-Alexandra; Krainik, Alexandre; Lamalle, Laurent; Krolak-Salmon, Pierre; Chainay, Hanna
Emotional material tends to be better retrieved in memory than neutral material. This emotional enhancement of memory may be related to the attentional effects of the amygdala's response to emotional stimuli. Because early neuropathological changes in Alzheimer's disease involve the amygdala and the hippocampus, it has been suggested that this effect is impaired in patients. However inconsistent results have been reported. The goal of our study was to evaluate the effects of emotion on picture recognition in patients affected by Alzheimer's disease, and to explore the link between this effect and the degree of amygdalar and hippocampal atrophy. Mild Alzheimer's disease patients (n = 15) and control participants (n = 20) performed an Old/New recognition task using pictures of negative, neutral, and positive emotional valence. Automated segmentation of their high-resolution T1 MRI scans was performed in order to obtain amygdalar and hippocampal volumes. Correlation analyses were then performed between volumetric data, memory, and the emotional effect on memory. An effect of emotion on memory was found for control participants (with positive items being better recognized than neutral and negative ones), with no correlation between this effect and medial temporal volumes, and a significant correlation between overall recognition scores and hippocampal volumes. Conversely, no emotional effect on memory was found across the group of patients; however, significant correlations were found between the loss of this effect and amygdalar and hippocampal volumes. These results tend to confirm a link between the loss of emotional effect on memory and neuropathological change in medial temporal structures during the course of Alzheimer's disease.
Le, Bonnie M; Impett, Emily A
How do parents feel when they regulate their emotional expressions in ways that are incongruent with their genuine feelings? In an experimental study, parents reported experiencing lower authenticity, emotional well-being, relationship quality, and responsiveness to their children's needs when they recalled caregiving experiences in which they suppressed negative emotions and amplified positive emotions, relative to a control condition. In a 10-day daily experience study, parents tended to use both regulation strategies simultaneously. In addition, assessing their unique effects indicated that positive emotion amplification, but not negative emotion suppression, had an indirect effect on parental outcomes via authenticity, with negative emotion suppression no longer being costly. This indirect effect was dampened when accounting for care difficulty. In both studies, effects were independent of a child's mood. The current results suggest that parents' attempts to suppress negative and amplify positive emotions during child care can detract from their well-being and high-quality parent-child bonds.
Sakaki, Michiko; Niki, Kazuhisa; Mather, Mara
In life, we must often learn new associations to people, places, or things we already know. The current fMRI study investigated the neural mechanisms underlying emotional memory updating. Nineteen participants first viewed negative and neutral pictures and learned associations between those pictures and other neutral stimuli, such as neutral…
Bartlett, James C.; And Others
Two experiments examined affect-dependent memory in preschool/kindergarten and third-grade children. A two-list intentional learning procedure was used to assess the effects of the congruent versus incongruent relationship between happy versus sad affect during initial list learning and happy versus sad affect during a delayed-recall test.…
Robotham, Laura; Sauter, Disa A; Bachoud-Lévi, Anne-Catherine; Trinkler, Iris
Patients with Huntington's Disease (HD) are impaired in the recognition of emotional signals. However, the nature and extent of the impairment is controversial: it has variously been argued to disproportionately affect disgust (e.g., Sprengelmeyer et al., 1996), to be general for negative emotions (Snowden et al., 2008), or to be a consequence of item difficulty (Milders et al., 2003). Yet no study to date has included more than one positive stimulus category in emotion recognition tasks, and most studies have focused on the recognition of emotions from facial stimuli. In this study, we test the hypothesis that patients with HD may be impaired in their recognition of positive as well as negative emotional signals, by examining the recognition of a range of positive emotions from vocal cues. We present a study of 14 Huntington's patients and 15 controls performing a forced-choice task with a previously validated set of negative and positive non-verbal emotional vocalizations (Sauter and Scott, 2007). Although HD patients performed above chance for each emotion, they were found to be impaired in both positive and negative emotions, including pleasure, fear and anger. These findings complement previous work by demonstrating that impairments in emotion recognition in HD extend to positive and negative emotions, which may imply a general deficit.
Figueira, Jessica S B; Oliveira, Leticia; Pereira, Mirtes G; Pacheco, Luiza B; Lobo, Isabela; Motta-Ribeiro, Gabriel C; David, Isabel A
Emotional states can guide the actions and decisions we make in our everyday life through their influence on cognitive processes such as working memory (WM). We investigated the long-lasting interference that an unpleasant emotional state had on goal-relevant WM representations from an electrophysiological perspective. Participants performed a change detection task that was preceded by the presentation of unpleasant or neutral task-irrelevant pictures in a blocked fashion. We focused on the contralateral delay activity (CDA), an event-related potential that is sensitive to the number of task-relevant items stored in WM. We found that the asymptotic limit for the CDA amplitude was lower during the unpleasant emotional state than during the neutral one; that is, an emotional state was capable of reducing how many task-relevant items the participants could hold in WM. Furthermore, both the individuals who experienced more intrusive thoughts and those who were dispositionally anxious were more susceptible to the influence of the emotional state. We provide evidence that an unpleasant emotional state diminished visual WM for task-relevant items, particularly in susceptible individuals. These results open new avenues to uncover the emotional-cognitive processing that underlies maladaptive WM representations and the role of such processing in the development of mental illness.
Vandercammen, Leen; Hofmans, Joeri; Theuns, Peter
Despite the fact that studies on self-determination theory have traditionally disregarded the explicit role of emotions in the motivation eliciting process, research attention for the affective antecedents of motivation is growing. We add to this emerging research field by testing the moderating role of emotion differentiation -individual differences in the extent to which people can differentiate between specific emotions- on the relationship between twelve specific emotions and intrinsic motivation. To this end, we conducted a daily diary study (N = 72) and an experience sampling study (N = 34). Results showed that the relationship between enthusiasm, cheerfulness, optimism, contentedness, gloominess, miserableness, uneasiness (in both studies 1 and 2), calmness, relaxation, tenseness, depression, worry (only in Study 1) on one hand and intrinsic motivation on the other hand was moderated by positive emotion differentiation for the positive emotions and by negative emotion differentiation for the negative emotions. Altogether, these findings suggest that for people who are unable to distinguish between different specific positive emotions the relationship between those specific positive emotions and intrinsic motivation is stronger, whereas the relationship between specific negative emotions and intrinsic motivation is weaker for people who are able to distinguish between the different specific negative emotions. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Zebrowitz, Leslie A.; Boshyan, Jasmine; Ward, Noreen; Gutchess, Angela; Hadjikhani, Nouchine
An older adult positivity effect, i.e., the tendency for older adults to favor positive over negative stimulus information more than do younger adults, has been previously shown in attention, memory, and evaluations. This effect has been attributed to greater emotion regulation in older adults. In the case of attention and memory, this explanation has been supported by some evidence that the older adult positivity effect is most pronounced for negative stimuli, which would motivate emotion regulation, and that it is reduced by cognitive load, which would impede emotion regulation. We investigated whether greater older adult positivity in the case of evaluative responses to faces is also enhanced for negative stimuli and attenuated by cognitive load, as an emotion regulation explanation would predict. In two studies, younger and older adults rated trustworthiness of faces that varied in valence both under low and high cognitive load, with the latter manipulated by a distracting backwards counting task. In Study 1, face valence was manipulated by attractiveness (low /disfigured faces, medium, high/fashion models’ faces). In Study 2, face valence was manipulated by trustworthiness (low, medium, high). Both studies revealed a significant older adult positivity effect. However, contrary to an emotion regulation account, this effect was not stronger for more negative faces, and cognitive load increased rather than decreased the rated trustworthiness of negatively valenced faces. Although inconsistent with emotion regulation, the latter effect is consistent with theory and research arguing that more cognitive resources are required to process negative stimuli, because they are more cognitively elaborated than positive ones. The finding that increased age and increased cognitive load both enhanced the positivity of trustworthy ratings suggests that the older adult positivity effect in evaluative ratings of faces may reflect age-related declines in cognitive capacity
Park, Sanghoon; Lim, Jung
The purpose of this paper was to explore the concept of interest, one of the critical positive emotions in learning contexts and to investigate the effects of different types of visual illustrations on learning interest, achievement, and motivation in multimedia learning. The concept of interest was explored in light of positive emotion; an…
Coleman, Tamara Chase
This study was designed to examine the perception of learning in adults generated by the effect of a positive emotion-in this case, awe. For the study, a working definition of awe is an "impact-provoking reverence due to a powerful, positive emotional response to the natural world." This qualitative study used primarily face-to-face…
Piqueras-Fiszman, Betina; Jaeger, Sara R.
Our memories of past eating experiences are influential in shaping food preferences and consumption behavior, and the emotions that people associate to these memories are linked to their attitudes toward foods and their everyday food-related behaviors. This work studies the impact that food-related memories have on peoples’ emotional state and how this state is projected in a subsequent evaluation of images pertaining to food and food-related behaviors. Focus is placed on guilt and shame emotions. Through an online survey, three memories were investigated (a positive meal, a routine evening meal, and an overeating occasion) among UK consumers (N = 710). Participants primed with the overeating memory evaluated images related to junk food as conveying more feelings of guilt and shame than did participants primed with the memory of a positive meal. Moreover, this effect was moderated by participants’ dietary restraint status. Participants classified as having a high dietary restraint had stronger associations with the emotions guilt and shame than participants classified as low in dietary restraint. In contrast, a memory of a positive meal did not lead to positive valuations of any of the food-related images shown. Overall, the findings from the present study illustrate the partial impact that personal food memories have on consumers’ emotional response toward food-related issues, which in turn has the potential to affect future behavior. This study therefore contributes to the literature about cognitive effects on food attitudes and behavior. Furthermore, the results suggest that the empirical approach may be tapping into possibly unconscious emotions toward foods and food-related behavior. PMID:27445911
Ward, Marcus P; Peters, Kevin R; Smith, Carlyle T
The relationship between emotional or neutral declarative memory consolidation and sleep architecture was investigated. Thirty university students (21 females) viewed negative, neutral, or positive pictures and rated their valence and arousal in the evening. Participants performed a recognition test 1 h later and then underwent overnight polysomnography. Their post-encoding sleep architecture was compared to a baseline night. Participants returned 6 days following encoding for a second recognition test. Results showed no group (Negative, Neutral, Positive) differences in recognition 1 h or 6 days following encoding. Stage 2 sleep spindle density decreased across all groups following encoding, and recognition after 6 days was positively correlated with Stage 2 sleep spindle density on both nights. There was no change in REM density in any of the groups. This is the first investigation into phasic sleep microarchitecture changes following emotional and neutral declarative learning. Future investigations may benefit from more salient emotional stimuli.
Abercrombie, Heather C; Speck, Nicole S; Monticelli, Roxanne M
Animal research suggests that cortisol facilitates memory only during emotional arousal. Thus, we predicted that during mild emotion and stress elicitation, endogenous cortisol elevations would predict memory facilitation only in individuals who report high stress-related negative affect. Thirty-one men viewed neutral and emotional stimuli and then were subjected to a public speaking stress task. Area under the curve for overall cortisol output during the speech was computed. Negative affect (NA) using the PANAS state version [Watson, D., Clark, L.A., Tellegen, A., 1988. Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: the PANAS scales. J. Personality Social Psychol. 54, 1063-1070.] was measured at baseline and immediately after the speech stressor. Cortisol output during the speech and change in NA interactively predicted free recall performance assessed 2 days later. This interaction was due to the finding that higher cortisol output was related to memory facilitation only in subjects who reported high stress-related negative affect (i.e. only in those individuals whose NA increased compared to baseline). This relation was especially prominent for recall of unpleasant pictures. Subjects who reported low stress-related negative affect, no relation was found between cortisol output during the speech and memory performance. Thus, the relation between cortisol and memory appears to depend on an increase in negative affect related to stress.
Xiu, Daiming; Geiger, Maximilian J.; Klaver, Peter
This study investigated the role of bottom-up and top-down neural mechanisms in the processing of emotional face expression during memory formation. Functional brain imaging data was acquired during incidental learning of positive (“happy”), neutral and negative (“angry” or “fearful”) faces. Dynamic Causal Modeling (DCM) was applied on the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data to characterize effective connectivity within a brain network involving face perception (inferior occipital gyrus and fusiform gyrus) and successful memory formation related areas (hippocampus, superior parietal lobule, amygdala, and orbitofrontal cortex). The bottom-up models assumed processing of emotional face expression along feed forward pathways to the orbitofrontal cortex. The top-down models assumed that the orbitofrontal cortex processed emotional valence and mediated connections to the hippocampus. A subsequent recognition memory test showed an effect of negative emotion on the response bias, but not on memory performance. Our DCM findings showed that the bottom-up model family of effective connectivity best explained the data across all subjects and specified that emotion affected most bottom-up connections to the orbitofrontal cortex, especially from the occipital visual cortex and superior parietal lobule. Of those pathways to the orbitofrontal cortex the connection from the inferior occipital gyrus correlated with memory performance independently of valence. We suggest that bottom-up neural mechanisms support effects of emotional face expression and memory formation in a parallel and partially overlapping fashion. PMID:25954169
Xiu, Daiming; Geiger, Maximilian J; Klaver, Peter
This study investigated the role of bottom-up and top-down neural mechanisms in the processing of emotional face expression during memory formation. Functional brain imaging data was acquired during incidental learning of positive ("happy"), neutral and negative ("angry" or "fearful") faces. Dynamic Causal Modeling (DCM) was applied on the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data to characterize effective connectivity within a brain network involving face perception (inferior occipital gyrus and fusiform gyrus) and successful memory formation related areas (hippocampus, superior parietal lobule, amygdala, and orbitofrontal cortex). The bottom-up models assumed processing of emotional face expression along feed forward pathways to the orbitofrontal cortex. The top-down models assumed that the orbitofrontal cortex processed emotional valence and mediated connections to the hippocampus. A subsequent recognition memory test showed an effect of negative emotion on the response bias, but not on memory performance. Our DCM findings showed that the bottom-up model family of effective connectivity best explained the data across all subjects and specified that emotion affected most bottom-up connections to the orbitofrontal cortex, especially from the occipital visual cortex and superior parietal lobule. Of those pathways to the orbitofrontal cortex the connection from the inferior occipital gyrus correlated with memory performance independently of valence. We suggest that bottom-up neural mechanisms support effects of emotional face expression and memory formation in a parallel and partially overlapping fashion.
Kogan, Inna; Richter-Levin, Gal
An exposure to stress can enhance memory for emotionally arousing experiences. The phenomenon is suggested to be amygdala-dependent and in accordance with that view the amygdala was found to modulate mnemonic processes in other brain regions. Previously, we illustrated increased amygdala activation and reduced activation of CA1 following spatial learning under higher versus lower stress conditions. When spatial learning was followed by reversal training interference, impaired retention was detected only under higher stress condition. Here we further evaluate the potential implications of the difference in the level of amygdala activation on the quality of the memory formed under these stress conditions. We attempted to affect spatial memory consolidation under lower or higher stress conditions by either introducing a foot shock interference following massed training in the water maze; by manipulating the threshold for acquisition employing either brief (3 trials) or full (12 trials) training sessions; or by employing a spaced training (over 3 days) rather than massed training protocol. The current findings reveal that under heightened emotionality, the process of consolidation seems to become less effective and more vulnerable to interference; however, when memory consolidation is not interrupted, retention is improved. These differential effects might underlie the complex interactions of stress, and, particularly, of traumatic stress with memory formation processes.
Mirandola, Chiara; Losito, Nunzia; Ghetti, Simona; Cornoldi, Cesare
Research has shown that children with learning disabilities (LD) are less prone to evince associative illusions of memory as a result of impairments in their ability to engage in semantic processing. However, it is unclear whether this observation is true for scripted life events, especially if they include emotional content, or across a broad spectrum of learning disabilities. The present study addressed these issues by assessing recognition memory for script-like information in children with nonverbal learning disability (NLD), children with dyslexia, and typically developing children (N=51). Participants viewed photographs about 8 common events (e.g., family dinner), and embedded in each episode was either a negative or a neutral consequence of an unseen action. Children's memory was then tested on a yes/no recognition task that included old and new photographs. Results showed that the three groups performed similarly in recognizing target photographs, but exhibited differences in memory errors. Compared to other groups, children with NLD were more likely to falsely recognize photographs that depicted an unseen cause of an emotional seen event and associated more "Remember" responses to these errors. Children with dyslexia were equally likely to falsely recognize both unseen causes of seen photographs and photographs generally consistent with the script, whereas the other participant groups were more likely to falsely recognize unseen causes rather than script-consistent distractors. Results are interpreted in terms of mechanisms underlying false memories' formation in different clinical populations of children with LD.
Boywitt, C Dennis
Recent research points to the decreased diagnostic value of subjective retrieval experience for memory accuracy for emotional stimuli. While for neutral stimuli rich recollective experiences are associated with better context memory than merely familiar memories this association appears questionable for emotional stimuli. The present research tested the implicit assumption that the effect of emotional arousal on memory is monotonic, that is, steadily increasing (or decreasing) with increasing arousal. In two experiments emotional arousal was manipulated in three steps using emotional pictures and subjective retrieval experience as well as context memory were assessed. The results show an inverted U-shape relationship between arousal and recognition memory but for context memory and retrieval experience the relationship was more complex. For frame colour, context memory decreased linearly while for spatial location it followed the inverted U-shape function. The complex, non-monotonic relationships between arousal and memory are discussed as possible explanations for earlier divergent findings.
Buchanan, T W; Lovallo, W R
Memory tends to be better for emotionally arousing information than for neutral information. Evidence from animal studies indicates that corticosteroids may be necessary for this memory enhancement to occur. We extend these findings to human memory performance. Following administration of cortisol (20 mg) or placebo, participants were exposed to pictures varying in emotional arousal. Incidental memory for the pictures was assessed one week later. We show that elevated cortisol levels during memory encoding enhances the long-term recall performance of emotionally arousing pictures relative to neutral pictures. These results extend previous work on corticosteroid enhancement of memory and suggest that high cortisol levels during arousing events result in enhanced memory in humans.
Vandercammen, Leen; Hofmans, Joeri; Theuns, Peter
Despite the fact that studies on self-determination theory have traditionally disregarded the explicit role of emotions in the motivation eliciting process, research attention for the affective antecedents of motivation is growing. We add to this emerging research field by testing the moderating role of emotion differentiation –individual differences in the extent to which people can differentiate between specific emotions– on the relationship between twelve specific emotions and intrinsic motivation. To this end, we conducted a daily diary study (N = 72) and an experience sampling study (N = 34). Results showed that the relationship between enthusiasm, cheerfulness, optimism, contentedness, gloominess, miserableness, uneasiness (in both studies 1 and 2), calmness, relaxation, tenseness, depression, worry (only in Study 1) on one hand and intrinsic motivation on the other hand was moderated by positive emotion differentiation for the positive emotions and by negative emotion differentiation for the negative emotions. Altogether, these findings suggest that for people who are unable to distinguish between different specific positive emotions the relationship between those specific positive emotions and intrinsic motivation is stronger, whereas the relationship between specific negative emotions and intrinsic motivation is weaker for people who are able to distinguish between the different specific negative emotions. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed. PMID:25517984
Lane, Richard D; Ryan, Lee; Nadel, Lynn; Greenberg, Leslie
Since Freud, clinicians have understood that disturbing memories contribute to psychopathology and that new emotional experiences contribute to therapeutic change. Yet, controversy remains about what is truly essential to bring about psychotherapeutic change. Mounting evidence from empirical studies suggests that emotional arousal is a key ingredient in therapeutic change in many modalities. In addition, memory seems to play an important role but there is a lack of consensus on the role of understanding what happened in the past in bringing about therapeutic change. The core idea of this paper is that therapeutic change in a variety of modalities, including behavioral therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, emotion-focused therapy, and psychodynamic psychotherapy, results from the updating of prior emotional memories through a process of reconsolidation that incorporates new emotional experiences. We present an integrated memory model with three interactive components - autobiographical (event) memories, semantic structures, and emotional responses - supported by emerging evidence from cognitive neuroscience on implicit and explicit emotion, implicit and explicit memory, emotion-memory interactions, memory reconsolidation, and the relationship between autobiographical and semantic memory. We propose that the essential ingredients of therapeutic change include: (1) reactivating old memories; (2) engaging in new emotional experiences that are incorporated into these reactivated memories via the process of reconsolidation; and (3) reinforcing the integrated memory structure by practicing a new way of behaving and experiencing the world in a variety of contexts. The implications of this new, neurobiologically grounded synthesis for research, clinical practice, and teaching are discussed.
Takeuchi, Hikaru; Taki, Yasuyuki; Nouchi, Rui; Hashizume, Hiroshi; Sekiguchi, Atsushi; Kotozaki, Yuka; Nakagawa, Seishu; Miyauchi, Carlos Makoto; Sassa, Yuko; Kawashima, Ryuta
Working memory (WM) capacity is associated with various emotional aspects, including states of depression and stress, reactions to emotional stimuli, and regulatory behaviors. We have previously investigated the effects of WM training (WMT) on cognitive functions and brain structures. However, the effects of WMT on emotional states and related neural mechanisms among healthy young adults remain unknown. In the present study, we investigated these effects in young adults who underwent WMT or received no intervention for 4 weeks. Before and after the intervention, subjects completed self-report questionnaires related to their emotional states and underwent scanning sessions in which brain activities related to negative emotions were measured. Compared with controls, subjects who underwent WMT showed reduced anger, fatigue, and depression. Furthermore, WMT reduced activity in the left posterior insula during tasks evoking negative emotion, which was related to anger. It also reduced activity in the left frontoparietal area. These findings show that WMT can reduce negative mood and provide new insight into the clinical applications of WMT, at least among subjects with preclinical-level conditions. PMID:25360090
Spalek, Klara; Fastenrath, Matthias; Ackermann, Sandra; Auschra, Bianca; Coynel, David; Frey, Julia; Gschwind, Leo; Hartmann, Francina; van der Maarel, Nadine; Papassotiropoulos, Andreas; de Quervain, Dominique; Milnik, Annette
Extensive evidence indicates that women outperform men in episodic memory tasks. Furthermore, women are known to evaluate emotional stimuli as more arousing than men. Because emotional arousal typically increases episodic memory formation, the females' memory advantage might be more pronounced for emotionally arousing information than for neutral information. Here, we report behavioral data from 3398 subjects, who performed picture rating and memory tasks, and corresponding fMRI data from up to 696 subjects. We were interested in the interaction between sex and valence category on emotional appraisal, memory performances, and fMRI activity. The behavioral results showed that females evaluate in particular negative (p < 10(-16)) and positive (p = 2 × 10(-4)), but not neutral pictures, as emotionally more arousing (pinteraction < 10(-16)) than males. However, in the free recall females outperformed males not only in positive (p < 10(-16)) and negative (p < 5 × 10(-5)), but also in neutral picture recall (p < 3.4 × 10(-8)), with a particular advantage for positive pictures (pinteraction < 4.4 × 10(-10)). Importantly, females' memory advantage during free recall was absent in a recognition setting. We identified activation differences in fMRI, which corresponded to the females' stronger appraisal of especially negative pictures, but no activation differences that reflected the interaction effect in the free recall memory task. In conclusion, females' valence-category-specific memory advantage is only observed in a free recall, but not a recognition setting and does not depend on females' higher emotional appraisal.
Gruber, June; Hay, Aleena C; Gross, James J
Bipolar disorder involves difficulties with emotion regulation, yet the precise nature of these emotion regulatory difficulties is unclear. The current study examined whether individuals with remitted bipolar I disorder (n = 23) and healthy controls (n = 23) differ in their ability to use one effective and common form of emotion regulation, cognitive reappraisal. Positive, negative, and neutral films were used to elicit emotion, and participants were cued to watch the film carefully (i.e., uninstructed condition) or reappraise while measures of affect, behavior, and psychophysiology were obtained. Results showed that reappraisal was associated with reductions in emotion reactivity across subjective (i.e., positive and negative affect), behavioral (i.e., positive facial displays), and physiological (i.e., skin conductance) response domains across all participants. Results suggest that reappraisal may be an effective regulation strategy for both negative and positive emotion across both healthy adults and individuals with bipolar disorder. Discussion focuses on clinical and treatment implications for bipolar disorder.
Schaefer, Alexandre; Fletcher, Kimberley; Pottage, Claire L; Alexander, Karrie; Brown, Charity
The effects of negative emotional intensity on memory-related brain activity were tested by using human scalp event-related potentials (ERP). A neural index of memory function--the electrophysiological 'Old-New' effect--was obtained from participants undertaking a memory recognition test of previously studied ('old') and unstudied ('new') pictures of variable levels of negative emotional intensity. The magnitude of the old-new effect was compared across four different levels of linearly increasing stimulus emotional intensity. Results revealed an inverted-U-shaped effect of emotional intensity on the magnitude of ERP old-new differences starting at 300 ms after stimulus onset. These results suggest that moderate negative emotions can enhance memory brain function, whereas extreme levels of emotional intensity have the potential of inhibiting memory function. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for neurobiological and psychological models of emotion-memory interactions.
Prehn-Kristensen, Alexander; Goder, Robert; Chirobeja, Stefania; Bressman, Inka; Ferstl, Roman; Baving, Lioba
Although the consolidation of several memory systems is enhanced by sleep in adults, recent studies suggest that sleep supports declarative memory but not procedural memory in children. In the current study, the influence of sleep on emotional declarative memory (recognition task) and procedural memory (mirror tracing task) in 20 healthy children…
Borg, Celine; Leroy, Nicolas; Favre, Emilie; Laurent, Bernard; Thomas-Anterion, Catherine
The present study examines the prediction that emotion can facilitate short-term memory. Nevertheless, emotion also recruits attention to process information, thereby disrupting short-term memory when tasks involve high attentional resources. In this way, we aimed to determine whether there is a differential influence of emotional information on…
Langeslag, Sandra J. E.; Morgan, Helen M.; Jackson, Margaret C.; Linden, David E. J.; Van Strien, Jan W.
Long-term memory (LTM) is enhanced for emotional information, but the influence of stimulus emotionality on short-term memory (STM) is less clear. We examined the electrophysiological correlates of improved visual STM for emotional face identity, focusing on the P1, N170, P3b and N250r event-related potential (ERP) components. These correlates are…
Riegel, Monika; Wierzba, Małgorzata; Grabowska, Anna; Jednoróg, Katarzyna; Marchewka, Artur
Emotion influences various cognitive processes, such as memory. This beneficial or detrimental effect can be studied with verbal material, yet in this case a broad term of context has to be taken into account. The present work reviews recent literature and proposes that traditional differentiation between semantic and environmental context should be replaced with a novel conceptualization of hippocampus-dependent relational memory and item memory (related to the activations of cuneus and left amygdala). Additionally, instead of list-learning paradigms, words should be memorized in the context of sentences or stories for better control over their meaning. The recent evidence suggests that of particular importance for ecological validity in research paradigms is the presence of communicative and social context of verbal material related to such processes as theory of mind and brain activations in temporoparietal junction, posterior cingulate cortex, and dorsal medial prefrontal cortex. We propose that studying memory of verbal material within context gives a better understanding of enhancing and impairing effects of emotion as well as of the underlying brain mechanisms.
Brainerd, C. J.; Holliday, R. E.; Reyna, V. F.; Yang, Y.; Toglia, M. P.
Do the emotional valence and arousal of events distort children's memories? Do valence and arousal modulate counterintuitive age increases in false memory? We investigated those questions in children, adolescents, and adults using the Cornell/Cortland Emotion Lists, a word list pool that induces false memories and in which valence and arousal can…
Grieving is infused by memories and emotions. In this study, bereaved participants recalled either death-related or fond memories of their loved ones. Their emotional arousal was examined via physiologic and voice analytic measures. Both death-related and fond memories generated an acoustic profile indicative of sadness (reflected by voice quality…
Stein, Maria; Rohde, Kristina Barbara; Henke, Katharina
We share the idea of Lane et al. that successful psychotherapy exerts its effects through memory reconsolidation. To support it, we add further evidence that a behavioral interference may trigger memory update during reconsolidation. Furthermore, we propose that - in addition to replacing maladaptive emotions - new emotions experienced in the therapeutic process catalyze reconsolidation of the updated memory structure.
Pine, Daniel S.; Lissek, Shmuel; Klein, Rachel G.; Mannuzza, Salvatore; Moulton, John L., III; Guardino, Mary; Woldehawariat, Girma
Background: Studies in adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) document abnormalities in both memory and face-emotion processing. The current study used a novel face-memory task to test the hypothesis that adolescent MDD is associated with a deficit in memory for face-emotions. The study also examines the relationship between parental MDD and…
Brockmeyer, Timo; Grosse Holtforth, Martin; Bents, Hinrich; Herzog, Wolfgang; Friederich, Hans-Christoph
Food restriction and weight-loss have been proposed to represent pathogenic mechanisms of emotion regulation in anorexia nervosa (AN). However, there is a lack of studies empirically examining this hypothesis. Therefore, the present study compared 25 women with AN and 25 healthy control women (HC) regarding spontaneous emotional processing of autobiographic memories. Participants' idiographic memories of sad autobiographic events were analyzed using computerized, quantitative text analysis as an unobtrusive approach of nonreactive assessment. Compared to HC, AN patients retrieved more negative but a comparable number of positive emotions. Moreover, the lesser the body weight in AN patients, the lesser negative emotions they retrieved, irrespective of current levels of depressive symptoms and duration of illness. No such association was found in HC. These preliminary findings are in line with models of AN proposing that food restriction and weight-loss may be negatively reinforced by the alleviation of aversive emotional responses.
Stuhr, Paul T.; Sutherland, Sue; Ward, Phillip
Teaching is an occupation that requires a considerable amount of emotional energy when interacting with students. Through in-depth interviews, field notes and journal entries the investigators examined the phenomenon of lived-positive emotionality (LPE) involving two physical education (PE) teachers. The purpose of this study was to determine the…
Bolzani Dinehart, Laura H.; Messinger, Daniel S.; Acosta, Susan I.; Cassel, Tricia; Ambadar, Zara; Cohn, Jeffrey
Adults' perceptions provide information about the emotional meaning of infant facial expressions. This study asks whether similar facial movements influence adult perceptions of emotional intensity in both infant positive (smile) and negative (cry face) facial expressions. Ninety-five college students rated a series of naturally occurring and…
Prehn-Kristensen, Alexander; Göder, Robert; Chirobeja, Stefania; Bressmann, Inka; Ferstl, Roman; Baving, Lioba
Although the consolidation of several memory systems is enhanced by sleep in adults, recent studies suggest that sleep supports declarative memory but not procedural memory in children. In the current study, the influence of sleep on emotional declarative memory (recognition task) and procedural memory (mirror tracing task) in 20 healthy children (10-13 years of age) was examined. After sleep, children showed an improvement in declarative memory. Separate analysis with respect to the emotional stimulus content revealed that sleep enhances the recognition of emotional stimuli (p>.001) rather than neutral stimuli (p=.084). In the procedural task, however, no sleep-enhanced memory improvement was observed. The results indicate that sleep in children, comparable to adults, enhances predominantly emotional declarative memory; however, in contrast to adults, it has no effect on the consolidation of procedural memory.
Johnson, Sheri L; Haase, Claudia M; Beermann, Ursula; Sanchez, Amy H; Tharp, Jordan A; Lwi, Sandy J; Casey, James J; Nguyen, Nguyen Khoi
Positive urgency, defined as a tendency to become impulsive during positive affective states, has gained support as a form of impulsivity that is particularly important for understanding psychopathology. Despite this, little is known about the emotional mechanisms and correlates of this form of impulsivity. We hypothesized that positive urgency would be related to greater emotional reactivity in response to a positive film clip. Seventy-five undergraduates watched a positive film clip, and a multimodal assessment of emotion was conducted, including subjective emotional experience, physiological activation (i.e., heart rate, respiratory sinus arrhythmia, skin conductance), and facial emotional behavior (i.e., objectively coded using the Facial Action Coding System). Positive urgency was not significantly related to greater positive emotional reactivity but rather a more complex array of emotions expressed in facial behavior, as indexed by similar levels of positive yet greater levels of negative behavior. These findings show that positive urgency may be linked to altered emotionality, but does not appear related to heightened positive emotional reactivity. Potential implications for functional outcomes are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record
Zhang, Weiwei; Gross, Julien; Hayne, Harlene
In the present study, we investigated the effect of participants' mood on true and false memories of emotional word lists in the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm. In Experiment 1, we constructed DRM word lists in which all the studied words and corresponding critical lures reflected a specified emotional valence. In Experiment 2, we used these lists to assess mood-congruent true and false memory. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three induced-mood conditions (positive, negative, or neutral) and were presented with word lists comprised of positive, negative, or neutral words. For both true and false memory, there was a mood-congruent effect in the negative mood condition; this effect was due to a decrease in true and false recognition of the positive and neutral words. These findings are consistent with both spreading-activation and fuzzy-trace theories of DRM performance and have practical implications for our understanding of the effect of mood on memory.
Bohn, Annette; Berntsen, Dornhe
Flashbulb memories for the fall of the Berlin Wall were examined among 103 East and West Germans who considered the event as either highly positive or highly negative. The participants in the positive group rated their memories higher on measures of reliving and sensory imagery, whereas their memory for facts was less accurate than that of the participants in the negative group. The participants in the negative group had higher ratings on amount of consequences but had talked less about the event and considered it less central to their personal and national identity than did the participants in the positive group. In both groups, rehearsal and the centrality of the memory to the person's identity and life story correlated positively with memory qualities. The results suggest that positive and negative emotions have different effects on the processing and long-term retention of flashbulb memories.
Banich, Marie T.; Mackiewicz, Kristen L.; Depue, Brendan E.; Whitmer, Anson; Miller, Gregory A.; Heller, Wendy
In this paper we provide a focused review of the literature examining neural mechanisms involved in cognitive control over memory processes that can influence, and in turn are influenced, by emotional processes. The review is divided into two parts, the first focusing on working memory and the second on long-term memory. With regard to working memory, we discuss the neural bases of 1) control mechanisms that can select against distracting emotional information, 2) mechanisms that can regulate emotional reactions or responses, 3) how mood state influences cognitive control, and 4) individual differences in control mechanisms. For long-term memory, we briefly review 1) the neural substrates of emotional memory, 2) the cognitive and neural mechanisms that are involved in controlling emotional memories and 3) how these systems are altered in post-traumatic stress disorder. Finally, we consider tentative generalizations that can be drawn from this relatively unexplored conjunction of research endeavors. PMID:18948135
Ong, Anthony D; Burrow, Anthony L; Fuller-Rowell, Thomas E
Past experiments have demonstrated that the cognitive broadening produced by positive emotions may extend to social contexts. Building on this evidence, we hypothesized that positive emotions triggered by thinking about Barack Obama may broaden and expand people's sense of self to include others. Results from an expressive-writing study demonstrated that African American college students prompted to write about Obama immediately prior to and after the 2008 presidential election used more plural self-references, fewer other-references, and more social references. Mediation analyses revealed that writing about Obama increased positive emotions, which in turn increased the likelihood that people thought in terms of more-inclusive superordinate categories (we and us rather than they and them). Implications of these findings for the role of positive emotions in perspective-taking and intergroup relations are considered.
Gloria, Christian T; Steinhardt, Mary A
The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions suggests that positive emotions can widen the range of potential coping strategies that come to mind and subsequently enhance one's resilience against stress. Studies have shown that high stress, especially chronic levels of stress, strongly contributes to the development of anxiety and depressive symptoms. However, researchers have also found that individuals who possess high levels of resilience are protected from stress and thus report lower levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms. Using a sample of 200 postdoctoral research fellows, the present study examined if (a) positive emotions were associated with greater resilience, (b) coping strategies mediated the link between positive emotions and resilience and (c) resilience moderated the influence of stress on trait anxiety and depressive symptoms. Results support the broaden-and-build theory in that positive emotions may enhance resilience directly as well as indirectly through the mediating role of coping strategies-particularly via adaptive coping. Resilience also moderated the association of stress with trait anxiety and depressive symptoms. Although stress is unavoidable and its influences on anxiety and depressive symptoms are undeniable, the likelihood of postdocs developing anxiety or depressive symptoms may be reduced by implementing programmes designed to increase positive emotions, adaptive coping strategies and resilience.
Vaish, Amrisha; Grossmann, Tobias; Woodward, Amanda
Prior work suggests that young children do not generalize others' preferences to new individuals. We hypothesized (following Vaish et al., 2008, Psychol. Bull., 134, 383-403) that this may only hold for positive emotions, which inform the child about the person's attitude towards the object but not about the positivity of the object itself. It may not hold for negative emotions, which additionally inform the child about the negativity of the object itself. Two-year-old children saw one individual (the emoter) emoting positively or negatively towards one and neutrally towards a second novel object. When a second individual then requested an object, children generalized the emoter's negative but not her positive emotion to the second individual. Children thus draw different inferences from others' positive versus negative emotions: Whereas they view others' positive emotions as person centred, they may view others' negative emotions as object centred and thus generalizable across people. The results are discussed with relation to the functions and implications of the negativity bias.
Morrison, Amanda S; Mateen, Maria A; Brozovich, Faith A; Zaki, Jamil; Goldin, Philippe R; Heimberg, Richard G; Gross, James J
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is associated with elevated negative and diminished positive affective experience. However, little is known about the way in which individuals with SAD perceive and respond emotionally to the naturally-unfolding negative and positive emotions of others, that is, cognitive empathy and affective empathy, respectively. In the present study, participants with generalized SAD (n = 32) and demographically-matched healthy controls (HCs; n = 32) completed a behavioral empathy task. Cognitive empathy was indexed by the correlation between targets' and participants' continuous ratings of targets' emotions, whereas affective empathy was indexed by the correlation between targets' and participants' continuous self-ratings of emotion. Individuals with SAD differed from HCs only in positive affective empathy: they were less able to vicariously share others' positive emotions. Mediation analyses revealed that poor emotional clarity and negative interpersonal perceptions among those with SAD might account for this finding. Future research using experimental methodology is needed to examine whether this finding represents an inability or unwillingness to share positive affect.
Breslin, Carolyn W; Safer, Martin A
In 2008, 1103 ardent Boston Red Sox fans answered questions about their team's 2003 loss and 2004 win in baseball championship games with archrival New York Yankees. Contrary to predictions based on socioemotional selectivity theory, there were no significant interactions of age and event valence for accuracy in remembering event details, or for self-reported subjective vividness and rehearsal of the memories. Fans 65 years and older tended to remember feeling only sad about the 2003 loss, whereas fans 25 years and under tended to remember feeling both sad and angry. Individuals may remember emotional feelings based on remembered goals about an event.
Fäsche, Anika; Gunzenhauser, Catherine; Friedlmeier, Wolfgang; von Suchodoletz, Antje
The present study investigated five to six year old children's ability to regulate negative and positive emotions in relation to psychosocial problem behavior (N=53). It was explored, whether mothers' supportive and nonsupportive strategies of emotion socialization influence children's problem behavior by shaping their emotion regulation ability. Mothers reported on children's emotion regulation and internalizing and externalizing problem behavior via questionnaire, and were interviewed about their preferences for socialization strategies in response to children's expression of negative affect. Results showed that children with more adaptive expression of adequate positive emotions had less internalizing behavior problems. When children showed more control of inadequate negative emotions, children were less internalizing as well as externalizing in their behavior. Furthermore, results indicated indirect relations of mothers' socialization strategies with children's problem behavior. Control of inadequate negative emotions mediated the link between non-supportive strategies on externalizing problem behavior. Results suggest that emotion regulatory processes should be part of interventions to reduce the development of problematic behavior in young children. Parents should be trained in dealing with children's emotions in a constructive way.
Sallquist, Julie; Eisenberg, Nancy; Spinrad, Tracy L.; Eggum, Natalie D.; Gaertner, Bridget M.
The purpose of this study was to examine a new measure of children’s dispositional positive empathy (i.e., reactions to others’ positive emotions) and its concurrent and longitudinal relations with positive emotion, social competence, and empathy/sympathy with negative emotions. At Time 1, 192 3.5-year-olds (88 girls) participated; at Time 2, 1 year later, 168 4.5-year-olds (79 girls) participated. Children’s positive empathy was reported by mothers and observed in the laboratory at Time 2. Additionally, mothers, fathers, and non-parental caregivers completed questionnaires at Time 1 and Time 2 regarding children’s positive emotion, empathy/sympathy, and social competence. Children’s positive emotion was observed at both assessments. There was evidence of reliability of the new reported measure of positive empathy. Additionally, there were numerous positive relations between positive empathy and social competence and between positive empathy and empathy/sympathy with negative emotions. This study provides unique insight into children’s positive empathy and relations to socio-emotional functioning. PMID:20011674
Mioni, G.; Meligrana, L.; Rendell, P. G.; Bartolomei, L.; Perini, F.; Stablum, F.
The present study investigated the effect of Parkinson’s disease (PD) on prospective memory (PM) tasks by varying the emotional content of the PM actions. Twenty-one older adults with PD and 25 healthy older adults took part in the present study. Participants performed three virtual days in the Virtual Week task. On each virtual day, participants performed actions with positive, negative or neutral content. Immediately following each virtual day, participants completed a recognition task to assess their retrospective memory for the various PM tasks. PD patients were less accurate than the control group at both PM accuracy and recognition task accuracy. The effect of emotional valence was also evident, indicating that all participants were more accurate on positive PM tasks than both negative and neutral. This study confirmed PM impairment in PD patients and extended previous research showing how positive emotional stimuli can influence PM performance. PMID:26257636
Luo, Yu; Qin, Shaozheng; Fernández, Guillén; Zhang, Yu; Klumpers, Floris; Li, Hong
Processing of emotional stimuli can either hinder or facilitate ongoing working memory (WM); however, the neural basis of these effects remains largely unknown. Here we examined the neural mechanisms of these paradoxical effects by implementing a novel emotional WM task in an fMRI study. Twenty-five young healthy participants performed an N-back task with fearful and neutral faces as stimuli. Participants made more errors when performing 0-back task with fearful versus neutral faces, whereas they made fewer errors when performing 2-back task with fearful versus neutral faces. These emotional impairment and enhancement on behavioral performance paralleled significant interactions in distributed regions in the salience network including anterior insula (AI) and dorsal cingulate cortex (dACC), as well as in emotion perception network including amygdala and temporal-occipital association cortex (TOC). The dorsal AI (dAI) and dACC were more activated when comparing fearful with neutral faces in 0-back task. Contrarily, dAI showed reduced activation, while TOC and amygdala showed stronger responses to fearful as compared to neutral faces in the 2-back task. These findings provide direct neural evidence to the emerging dual competition model suggesting that the salience network plays a critical role in mediating interaction between emotion perception and executive control when facing ever-changing behavioral demands.
Kandemir, Güven; Akyürek, Elkan G.; Nieuwenstein, Mark R.
While many studies have shown that a task-irrelevant emotionally arousing stimulus can interfere with the processing of a shortly following target, it remains unclear whether an emotional stimulus can also retro-actively interrupt the ongoing processing of an earlier target. In two experiments, we examined whether the presentation of a negative emotionally arousing picture can disrupt working memory consolidation of a preceding visual target. In both experiments, the effects of negative emotional pictures were compared with the effects of neutral pictures. In Experiment 1, the pictures were entirely task-irrelevant whereas in Experiment 2 the pictures were associated with a 2-alternative forced choice task that required participants to respond to the color of a frame surrounding the pictures. The results showed that the appearance of the pictures did not interfere with target consolidation when the pictures were task-irrelevant, whereas such interference was observed when the pictures were associated with a 2-AFC task. Most importantly, however, the results showed no effects of whether the picture had neutral or emotional content. Implications for further research are discussed. PMID:28103267
Xu, Xiaohong; Zhao, Yanbing; Zhao, Peng; Yang, Jiongjiong
The object of this study was to investigate whether level of processing (LOP) modulates enhanced memory performance for emotional stimuli, and, if so, whether the LOP effects relate to their gist and details. During the study phase, participants were presented with colourful pictures with negative, neutral and positive valences and encoded the emotional pictures under either a semantic (living/non-living judgement) or a perceptual (left/right position judgement) condition. During the test phase, they judged whether the presented picture was old or new in Experiments 1 and 2, and also judged whether a specific concept, labelled using words, had been studied in Experiment 2. The results showed that under both encoding conditions, the details of both negative and positive pictures were recognised better than those of neutral pictures. Also, the gist of negative pictures was recognised better than that of neutral pictures but only under the semantic condition. These data provide evidence that the LOP differentially modulates enhanced emotional memory for gist and details of pictures.
Di Domenico, Alberto; Palumbo, Rocco; Mammarella, Nicola; Fairfield, Beth
In this study, we investigated whether age-related differences in emotion regulation priorities influence online dynamic emotional facial discrimination. A group of 40 younger and a group of 40 older adults were invited to recognize a positive or negative expression as soon as the expression slowly emerged and subsequently rate it in terms of intensity. Our findings show that older adults recognized happy expressions faster than angry ones, while the direction of emotional expression does not seem to affect younger adults’ performance. Furthermore, older adults rated both negative and positive emotional faces as more intense compared to younger controls. This study detects age-related differences with a dynamic online paradigm and suggests that different regulation strategies may shape emotional face recognition. PMID:26300822
Di Simplicio, M; Massey-Chase, R; Cowen, P J; Harmer, Catherine J
Animal studies have shown the role of oxytocin in affiliation and attachment, and recent evidence suggests that oxytocin is also involved in human models of approach behaviour, possibly by modulating the processing of emotionally valenced stimuli. Although oxytocin administration has been reported to decrease neural responses to facial emotional information, the effects on a wider range of behavioural measures of emotional processing shown to be sensitive to antidepressant manipulation have not been examined. The aim of this study was to investigate whether intranasally administered oxytocin affects the processing of positive and negative affective information in healthy male volunteers across tasks measuring attention, perception and memory. Twenty-nine male healthy volunteers were randomly allocated to receive a single dose of oxytocin nasal spray (24 UI) or placebo. 50 min later, participants completed a battery of psychological tests measuring emotional processing. A single dose of intranasally administered oxytocin slowed reaction time to correctly identify fearful facial expressions and reduced the misclassification of positive emotions as negative ones. These effects occurred in the absence of significant differences in subjective ratings of mood and anxiety. These results suggest that oxytocin modulates emotion processing in healthy male volunteers. This action may contribute to the emerging role of the neuropeptide in promoting affiliative and approach behaviours by reducing the salience of potentially ambiguous and threatening social stimuli.
Gaigg, Sebastian B; Bowler, Dermot M
Recent evidence suggests that individuals with ASD may not accumulate distinct representations of emotional information throughout development. On the basis of this observation we predicted that such individuals would not be any less likely to falsely remember emotionally significant as compared to neutral words when such illusory memories are induced by asking participants to study lists of words that are orthographically associated to these words. Our findings showed that typical participants are far less likely to experience illusory memories of emotionally charged as compared to neutral words. Individuals with ASD, on the other hand, did not exhibit this emotional modulation of false memories. We discuss this finding in relation to the role of emotional processing atypicalities in ASD.
Zhao, Li-Yan; Shi, Jie; Zhang, Xiao-Li; Lu, Lin
Stress exposure in addicted individuals is known to provoke drug craving, presumably through a memory-like process, but less is known about the effects of stress on non-drug-related affective memory retrieval per se in such individuals, which is likely to provide important insights into therapy for relapse. In present study, we explored the effect of stress on retrieval of neutral and emotionally valenced (positive and negative) words in abstinent heroin addicts. In present study, 28 male inpatient abstinent heroin addicts and 20 sex-, age-, education- and economic status-matched healthy control participants were assessed for 24h delayed recall of valenced and neutral word lists on two occasions 4 weeks apart-once in a nonstress control condition, once after exposure to the Trier Social Stress Test in a counterbalanced design. In addition, attention, working memory, blood pressure, heart rate and salivary cortisol were assessed. We found acute stress at the time of word list recall enhanced retrieval of positively valenced words, but no effect on negative and neutral word retrieval in abstinent heroin addicts was observed. No changes were detected for attention and working memory. The stressor induced a significant increase in salivary free cortisol, blood pressure and heart rate. Stress can enhance non-drug-related positive memory in abstinent heroin addicts. Our findings will provide richer information in understanding dysregulation of their emotional memory processing under stress and hopefully provide insight into designing improved treatments for drug addiction.
Snyder, Sara A.; Heller, S. Megan; Lumian, Daniel S.; McRae, Kateri
Previous research has demonstrated that the use of emotion regulation strategies can vary by sociocultural context. In a previous study, we reported changes in the use of two different emotion regulation strategies at an annual alternative cultural event, Burning Man (McRae et al., 2011). In this sociocultural context, as compared to typically at home, participants reported less use of expressive suppression (a strategy generally associated with maladaptive outcomes), and greater use of cognitive reappraisal (a strategy generally associated with adaptive outcomes). What remained unclear was whether these changes in self-reported emotion regulation strategy use were characterized by changes in the regulation of positive emotion, negative emotion, or both. We addressed this issue in the current study by asking Burning Man participants separate questions about positive and negative emotion. Using multiple datasets, we replicated our previous findings, and found that the decreased use of suppression is primarily driven by reports of decreased suppression of positive emotion at Burning Man. By contrast, the increased use of reappraisal is not characterized by differential reappraisal of positive and negative emotion at Burning Man. Moreover, we observed novel individual differences in the magnitude of these effects. The contextual changes in self-reported suppression that we observe are strongest for men and younger participants. For those who had previously attended Burning Man, we observed lower levels of self-reported suppression in both sociocultural contexts: Burning Man and typically at home. These findings have implications for understanding the ways in which certain sociocultural contexts may decrease suppression, and possibly minimize its associated maladaptive effects. PMID:23840191
Reimert, Inonge; Bolhuis, J Elizabeth; Kemp, Bas; Rodenburg, T Bas
For the welfare of group-housed animals, such as pigs, the emotional state of an individual pig is relevant, but also the extent to which pen mates are affected by the distress or pleasure of other individuals, i.e. emotional contagion, a simple form of empathy. Therefore, indicators of positive and negative emotions were investigated in pigs during anticipation and experience of a rewarding (access in pairs to a compartment with straw, peat and chocolate raisins) or aversive (social isolation combined with negative, unpredictable interventions) event. Thereafter the same indicators were investigated in naive pigs during anticipation and experience of a rewarding or aversive event by their trained pen mates. Positive emotions could be indicated by play, barks and tail movements, while negative emotions could be indicated by freezing, defecating, urinating, escape attempts, high-pitched vocalizations (screams, squeals or grunt-squeals), tail low, ears back and ear movements. Salivary cortisol measurements supported these behavioral observations. During anticipation of the aversive event, naive pigs tended to show more tail low. During the aversive event, naive pigs tended to defecate more, while they played more during the rewarding event. These results suggest that pigs might be sensitive to emotional contagion, which could have implications for the welfare of group-housed pigs. Pig emotions and the process of emotional contagion merit, therefore, further research.
Botzung, Anne; Rubin, David C; Miles, Amanda; Cabeza, Roberto; Labar, Kevin S
The rivalry between the men's basketball teams of Duke University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC) is one of the most storied traditions in college sports. A subculture of students at each university form social bonds with fellow fans, develop expertise in college basketball rules, team statistics, and individual players, and self-identify as a member of a fan group. The present study capitalized on the high personal investment of these fans and the strong affective tenor of a Duke-UNC basketball game to examine the neural correlates of emotional memory retrieval for a complex sporting event. Male fans watched a competitive, archived game in a social setting. During a subsequent functional magnetic resonance imaging session, participants viewed video clips depicting individual plays of the game that ended with the ball being released toward the basket. For each play, participants recalled whether or not the shot went into the basket. Hemodynamic signal changes time locked to correct memory decisions were analyzed as a function of emotional intensity and valence, according to the fan's perspective. Results showed intensity-modulated retrieval activity in midline cortical structures, sensorimotor cortex, the striatum, and the medial temporal lobe, including the amygdala. Positively valent memories specifically recruited processing in dorsal frontoparietal regions, and additional activity in the insula and medial temporal lobe for positively valent shots recalled with high confidence. This novel paradigm reveals how brain regions implicated in emotion, memory retrieval, visuomotor imagery, and social cognition contribute to the recollection of specific plays in the mind of a sports fan.
Tien, Yi-Min; Huang, Jong-Tsun
Because of dopaminergic neurodegeneration, patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) show impairment in the recognition of negative facial expressions. In the present study, we aimed to determine whether PD patients with more advanced motor problems would show a much greater deficit in recognition of emotional facial expressions than a control group and whether impairment of emotion recognition would extend to positive emotions. Twenty-nine PD patients and 29 age-matched healthy controls were recruited. Participants were asked to discriminate emotions in Experiment 1 and identify gender in Experiment 2. In Experiment 1, PD patients demonstrated a recognition deficit for negative (sadness and anger) and positive faces. Further analysis showed that only PD patients with high motor dysfunction performed poorly in recognition of happy faces. In Experiment 2, PD patients showed an intact ability for gender identification, and the results eliminated possible abilities in the functions measured in Experiment 2 as alternative explanations for the results of Experiment 1. We concluded that patients' ability to recognize emotions deteriorated as the disease progressed. Recognition of negative emotions was impaired first, and then the impairment extended to positive emotions. PMID:27555668
Lin, Chia-Yao; Tien, Yi-Min; Huang, Jong-Tsun; Tsai, Chon-Haw; Hsu, Li-Chuan
Because of dopaminergic neurodegeneration, patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) show impairment in the recognition of negative facial expressions. In the present study, we aimed to determine whether PD patients with more advanced motor problems would show a much greater deficit in recognition of emotional facial expressions than a control group and whether impairment of emotion recognition would extend to positive emotions. Twenty-nine PD patients and 29 age-matched healthy controls were recruited. Participants were asked to discriminate emotions in Experiment 1 and identify gender in Experiment 2. In Experiment 1, PD patients demonstrated a recognition deficit for negative (sadness and anger) and positive faces. Further analysis showed that only PD patients with high motor dysfunction performed poorly in recognition of happy faces. In Experiment 2, PD patients showed an intact ability for gender identification, and the results eliminated possible abilities in the functions measured in Experiment 2 as alternative explanations for the results of Experiment 1. We concluded that patients' ability to recognize emotions deteriorated as the disease progressed. Recognition of negative emotions was impaired first, and then the impairment extended to positive emotions.
Li, Xiaoshu; Wang, Haibao; Tian, Yanghua; Zhou, Shanshan; Li, Xiaohu; Wang, Kai; Yu, Yongqiang
Background: Discrepancies persist regarding retainment of emotional enhancement of memory (EEM) in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients.In addition, the neural mechanisms are still poorly understood, little is known about emotional memory related changes in white matter (WM). Objective: To observe whether EEM is absent in amnestic MCI (aMCI) and AD patients, and to investigate if emotional memory is associated with WM connections and gray matters (GM) of the limbic system networks. Methods: Twenty-one AD patients, 20 aMCI patients and 25 normal controls participated in emotional picture recognition tests and MRI scanning. Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) and voxel-based morphometry (VBM) methods were used to determine white and gray matter changes of patients. Fourteen regions of interest (ROI) of WM and 20 ROIs of GM were then selected for the correlation analyses with behavioral scores. Results: The EEM effect was lost in AD patients. Both white and gray matter of the limbic system networks were impaired in AD patients. Significant correlations or tendencies between the bilateral uncinate fasciculus, corpus callosum (genu and body), left cingulum bundle, left parahippocampal WM and the recognition sensitivity of emotional valence pictures, and significant correlations or tendencies between the splenium of corpus callosum, left cingulum bundle, left crus of fornix and stria terminalis and the recognition sensitivity of EEM were found. The volume of left amygdala, bilateral insula, medial frontal lobe, anterior and middle cingulum gyrus were positively correlated with the recognition sensitivity of emotional photos, and the right precuneus was positively correlated with the negative EEM effect. However, the affected brain areas of aMCI patients were more localized, and aMCI patients benefited only from positive stimuli. Conclusion: There are impairments of the limbic system networks of AD patients. Damaged WM connections
Gaigg, Sebastian B.; Bowler, Dermot M.
Recent evidence suggests that individuals with ASD may not accumulate distinct representations of emotional information throughout development. On the basis of this observation we predicted that such individuals would not be any less likely to falsely remember emotionally significant as compared to neutral words when such "illusory memories" are…
Fredrickson, Barbara L
The broaden-and-build theory describes the form and function of a subset of positive emotions, including joy, interest, contentment and love. A key proposition is that these positive emotions broaden an individual's momentary thought-action repertoire: joy sparks the urge to play, interest sparks the urge to explore, contentment sparks the urge to savour and integrate, and love sparks a recurring cycle of each of these urges within safe, close relationships. The broadened mindsets arising from these positive emotions are contrasted to the narrowed mindsets sparked by many negative emotions (i.e. specific action tendencies, such as attack or flee). A second key proposition concerns the consequences of these broadened mindsets: by broadening an individual's momentary thought-action repertoire--whether through play, exploration or similar activities--positive emotions promote discovery of novel and creative actions, ideas and social bonds, which in turn build that individual's personal resources; ranging from physical and intellectual resources, to social and psychological resources. Importantly, these resources function as reserves that can be drawn on later to improve the odds of successful coping and survival. This chapter reviews the latest empirical evidence supporting the broaden-and-build theory and draws out implications the theory holds for optimizing health and well-being. PMID:15347528
Rietveld, Simon; van Beest, Ilja
The current study assessed how negative and positive stress is related to dyspnea perception. The participants were 25 young women with a medical diagnosis of severe asthma, and 15 matched controls. Stress was induced during repeated rollercoaster rides. Results showed that negative emotional stress and blood pressure peaked just before, and positive emotional stress and heart beat peaked immediately after rollercoaster rides. Dyspnea in women with asthma was higher just before than immediately after rollercoaster rides, even in women with asthma with a rollercoaster-evoked reduction in lung function. These results suggest that stressed and highly aroused individuals with chronic asthma tend to perceive dyspnea in terms of acquired, familiar associations between dyspnea and positive versus negative feeling states, favoring either underperception or overperception of dyspnea, depending on the emotional valence of a situation.
Sakaki, Michiko; Niki, Kazuhisa; Mather, Mara
In life, we must often learn new associations to people, places, or things we already know. The current fMRI study investigated the neural mechanisms underlying emotional memory updating. Nineteen participants first viewed negative and neutral pictures and learned associations between those pictures and other neutral stimuli, such as neutral objects and encoding tasks. This initial learning phase was followed by a memory updating phase, during which participants learned picture-location associations for old pictures (i.e., pictures previously associated with other neutral stimuli) and new pictures (i.e., pictures not seen in the first phase). There was greater frontopolar/orbito-frontal (OFC) activity when people learned picture-location associations for old negative pictures than for new negative pictures, but frontopolar OFC activity did not significantly differ during learning locations of old versus new neutral pictures. In addition, frontopolar activity was more negatively correlated with the amygdala when participants learned picture-location associations for old negative pictures than for new negative or old neutral pictures. Past studies revealed that the frontopolar OFC allows for updating the affective values of stimuli in reversal learning or extinction of conditioning [e.g., Izquierdo, A., & Murray, E. A. Opposing effects of amygdala and orbital PFC lesions on the extinction of instrumental responding in macaque monkeys. European Journal of Neuroscience, 22, 2341-2346, 2005]; our findings suggest that it plays a more general role in updating associations to emotional stimuli.
Woodworth, Michael; Porter, Stephen; Ten Brinke, Leanne; Doucette, Naomi L; Peace, Kristine; Campbell, Mary Ann
Defendants commonly claim amnesia for their criminal actions especially in cases involving extreme violence. While some claims are malingered or result from physiological factors, other cases may represent genuine partial or complete amnesia resulting from the psychological distress and/or extreme emotion associated with the perpetration of the crime. Fifty Canadian homicide offenders described their memories of their homicide, a non-homicide violent offense, and their most positive adulthood life experience. Self-reported and objective measures of memories for these events revealed that homicides were recalled with the greatest level of detail and sensory information. Although dissociative tendencies were associated with a self-reported memory loss, objective measures of memory quality did not reflect this perceived impairment, suggesting a failure of meta-memory. Recollections of positive life events were superior to those of non-homicidal violence, possibly due to greater impact and meaning attached to such experiences. Findings suggest that memory for homicide typically is enhanced by the powerful emotion associated with its perpetration.
Weytens, Fanny; Luminet, Olivier; Verhofstadt, Lesley L.; Mikolajczak, Moïra
Over the past fifteen years, positive psychology research has validated a set of happiness enhancing techniques. These techniques are relatively simple exercises that allow happiness seekers to mimic thoughts and behavior of naturally happy people, in order to increase their level of well-being. Because research has shown that the joint use of these exercises increases their effects, practitioners who want to help happiness seekers need validated interventions that combine several of these techniques. To meet this need, we have developed and tested an integrative intervention (Positive Emotion Regulation program – PER program) incorporating a number of validated techniques structured around a theoretical model: the Process Model of Positive Emotion Regulation. To test the effectiveness of this program and to identify its added value relative to existing interventions, 113 undergraduate students were randomly assigned to a 6-week positive emotion regulation pilot program, a loving-kindness meditation training program, or a wait-list control group. Results indicate that fewer participants dropped out from the PER program than from the Loving-Kindness Meditation training. Furthermore, subjects in the PER group showed a significant increase in subjective well-being and life satisfaction and a significant decrease in depression and physical symptoms when compared to controls. Our results suggest that the Process Model of Positive Emotion Regulation can be an effective option to organize and deliver positive integrative interventions. PMID:24759870
Weytens, Fanny; Luminet, Olivier; Verhofstadt, Lesley L; Mikolajczak, Moïra
Over the past fifteen years, positive psychology research has validated a set of happiness enhancing techniques. These techniques are relatively simple exercises that allow happiness seekers to mimic thoughts and behavior of naturally happy people, in order to increase their level of well-being. Because research has shown that the joint use of these exercises increases their effects, practitioners who want to help happiness seekers need validated interventions that combine several of these techniques. To meet this need, we have developed and tested an integrative intervention (Positive Emotion Regulation program - PER program) incorporating a number of validated techniques structured around a theoretical model: the Process Model of Positive Emotion Regulation. To test the effectiveness of this program and to identify its added value relative to existing interventions, 113 undergraduate students were randomly assigned to a 6-week positive emotion regulation pilot program, a loving-kindness meditation training program, or a wait-list control group. Results indicate that fewer participants dropped out from the PER program than from the Loving-Kindness Meditation training. Furthermore, subjects in the PER group showed a significant increase in subjective well-being and life satisfaction and a significant decrease in depression and physical symptoms when compared to controls. Our results suggest that the Process Model of Positive Emotion Regulation can be an effective option to organize and deliver positive integrative interventions.
Kok, Bethany E; Coffey, Kimberly A; Cohn, Michael A; Catalino, Lahnna I; Vacharkulksemsuk, Tanya; Algoe, Sara B; Brantley, Mary; Fredrickson, Barbara L
The mechanisms underlying the association between positive emotions and physical health remain a mystery. We hypothesize that an upward-spiral dynamic continually reinforces the tie between positive emotions and physical health and that this spiral is mediated by people's perceptions of their positive social connections. We tested this overarching hypothesis in a longitudinal field experiment in which participants were randomly assigned to an intervention group that self-generated positive emotions via loving-kindness meditation or to a waiting-list control group. Participants in the intervention group increased in positive emotions relative to those in the control group, an effect moderated by baseline vagal tone, a proxy index of physical health. Increased positive emotions, in turn, produced increases in vagal tone, an effect mediated by increased perceptions of social connections. This experimental evidence identifies one mechanism-perceptions of social connections-through which positive emotions build physical health, indexed as vagal tone. Results suggest that positive emotions, positive social connections, and physical health influence one another in a self-sustaining upward-spiral dynamic.
Sava, Alina-Alexandra; Paquet, Claire; Dumurgier, Julien; Hugon, Jacques; Chainay, Hanna
After short delays between encoding and retrieval, healthy young participants have better memory performance for emotional stimuli than for neutral stimuli. Divided-attention paradigms suggest that this emotional enhancement of memory (EEM) is due to different attention mechanisms involved during encoding: automatic processing for negative stimuli, and controlled processing for positive stimuli. As far as we know, no study on the influence of these factors on EEM in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) patients, as compared to healthy young and older controls, has been conducted. Thus, the goal of our study was to ascertain whether the EEM in these populations depends on the attention resources available at encoding. Participants completed two encoding phases: full attention (FA) and divided attention (DA), followed by two retrieval phases (recognition tasks). There was no EEM on the discrimination accuracy, independently of group and encoding condition. Nevertheless, all participants used a more liberal response criterion for the negative and positive stimuli than for neutral ones. In AD patients, larger numbers of false recognitions for negative and positive stimuli than for neutral ones were observed after both encoding conditions. In MCI patients and in healthy older and younger controls this effect was observed only for negative stimuli, and it depended on the encoding condition. Thus, this effect was observed in young controls after both encoding conditions, in older controls after the DA encoding, and in MCI patients after the FA encoding. In conclusion, our results suggest that emotional valence does not always enhance discrimination accuracy. Nevertheless, in certain conditions related to the attention resources available at encoding, emotional valence, especially the negative one, enhances the subjective feeling of familiarity and, consequently, engenders changes in response bias. This effect seems to be sensitive to the age and
Pais-Vieira, Carla; Wing, Erik A; Cabeza, Roberto
Evidence from functional neuroimaging studies of emotional perception shows that when attention is focused on external features of emotional stimuli (external perceptual orienting--EPO), the amygdala is primarily engaged, but when attention is turned inwards towards one's own emotional state (interoceptive self-orienting--ISO), regions of the salience network, such as the anterior insula (AI) and the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), also play a major role. Yet, it is unknown if ISO boosts the contributions of AI and dACC not only to emotional 'perception' but also to emotional 'memory'. To investigate this issue, participants were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while viewing emotional and neutral pictures under ISO or EPO, and memory was tested several days later. The study yielded three main findings: (i) emotion boosted perception-related activity in the amygdala during both ISO and EPO and in the right AI exclusively during ISO; (ii) emotion augmented activity predicting subsequent memory in AI and dACC during ISO but not during EPO and (iii) high confidence memory was associated with increased amygdala-dACC connectivity, selectively for ISO encoding. These findings show, for the first time, that ISO promotes emotional memory formation via regions associated with interoceptive awareness of emotional experience, such as AI and dACC.
Gallant, Sara N; Yang, Lixia
Consistent with their emphasis on emotional goals, older adults often exhibit a positivity bias in attention and memory relative to their young counterparts (i.e., a positivity effect). The current study sought to determine how this age-related positivity effect would impact intentional forgetting of emotional words, a process critical to efficient operation of memory. Using an item-based directed forgetting task, 36 young and 36 older adults studied a series of arousal-equivalent words that varied in valence (i.e., positive, negative, and neutral). Each word was followed by a cue to either remember or forget the word. A subsequent "tagging" recognition task required classification of items as to-be-remembered (TBR), to-be-forgotten (TBF), or new as a measure of directed forgetting and source attribution in participants' memory. Neither young nor older adults' intentional forgetting was affected by the valence of words. A goal-consistent valence effect did, however, emerge in older adults' source attribution performance. Specifically, older adults assigned more TBR-cues to positive words and more TBF-cues to negative words. Results are discussed in light of existing literature on emotion and directed forgetting as well as the socioemotional selectivity theory underlying the age-related positivity effect.
Nishida, Masaki; Pearsall, Jori; Buckner, Randy L.
Both emotion and sleep are independently known to modulate declarative memory. Memory can be facilitated by emotion, leading to enhanced consolidation across increasing time delays. Sleep also facilitates offline memory processing, resulting in superior recall the next day. Here we explore whether rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and aspects of its unique neurophysiology, underlie these convergent influences on memory. Using a nap paradigm, we measured the consolidation of neutral and negative emotional memories, and the association with REM-sleep electrophysiology. Subjects that napped showed a consolidation benefit for emotional but not neutral memories. The No-Nap control group showed no evidence of a consolidation benefit for either memory type. Within the Nap group, the extent of emotional memory facilitation was significantly correlated with the amount of REM sleep and also with right-dominant prefrontal theta power during REM. Together, these data support the role of REM-sleep neurobiology in the consolidation of emotional human memories, findings that have direct translational implications for affective psychiatric and mood disorders. PMID:18832332
McKeon, Shannon; Pace-Schott, Edward F; Spencer, Rebecca M C
Sleep benefits veridical memories, resulting in superior recall relative to off-line intervals spent awake. Sleep also increases false memory recall in the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm. Given the suggestion that emotional veridical memories are prioritized for consolidation over sleep, here we examined whether emotion modulates sleep's effect on false memory formation. Participants listened to semantically related word lists lacking a critical lure representing each list's "gist." Free recall was tested after 12 hours containing sleep or wake. The Sleep group recalled more studied words than the Wake group but only for emotionally neutral lists. False memories of both negative and neutral critical lures were greater following sleep relative to wake. Morning and Evening control groups (20-minute delay) did not differ ruling out circadian accounts for these differences. These results support the adaptive function of sleep in both promoting the consolidation of veridical declarative memories and in extracting unifying aspects from memory details.
Mellor, D J
This paper presents a rationale that may significantly boost the drive to promote positive welfare states in animals. The rationale is based largely, but not exclusively, on an experimentally supported neuropsychological understanding of relationships between emotions and behaviour, an understanding that has not yet been incorporated into animal welfare science thinking. Reference is made to major elements of the neural/cognitive foundations of motivational drives that energise and direct particular behaviours and their related subjective or emotional experiences. These experiences are generated in part by sensory inputs that reflect the animal's internal functional state and by neural processing linked to the animal's perception of its external circumstances. The integrated subjective or emotional outcome of these inputs corresponds to the animal's welfare status. The internally generated subjective experiences represent motivational urges or drives that are predominantly negative and include breathlessness, thirst, hunger and pain. They are generated by, and elicit specific behaviours designed to correct, imbalances in the animal's internal functional state. Externally generated subjective experiences are said to be integral to the operation of interacting 'action-orientated systems' that give rise to particular behaviours and their negative or positive emotional contents. These action-orientated systems, described in neuropsychological terms, give rise to negative emotions that include fear, anger and panic, and positive emotions that include comfort, vitality, euphoria and playfulness. It is argued that early thinking about animal welfare management focused mainly on minimising disturbances to the internal functional states that generate associated unpleasant motivational urges or drives. This strategy produced animal welfare benefits, but at best it could only lift a poor net welfare status to a neutral one. In contrast, strategies designed to manipulate the
Prakash, Sanjay; Golwala, Purva
The neurobiology of chronic pain, including chronic daily headache (CDH) is not completely understood. "Pain memory" hypothesis is one of the mechanisms for phantom limb pain. We reviewed the literature to delineate a relation of "pain memory" for the development of CDH. There is a direct relation of pain to memory. Patients with poor memory have less chance to develop "pain memory", hence less possibility to develop chronic pain. Progressive memory impairment may lead to decline in headache prevalence. A similar relation of pain is also noted with emotional or psychiatric symptoms. Literature review suggests that there is marked overlap in the neural network of pain to that of memory and emotions. We speculate that pain, memory, and emotions are interrelated in triangular pattern, and each of these three is related to other two in bidirectional pattern, i.e., stimulation of one of these will stimulate other symptoms/networks and vice versa (triangular theory for chronic pain). Longstanding or recurrent noxious stimuli will strengthen this interrelation, and this may be responsible for chronicity of pain. Reduction of both chronic pain and psychological symptoms by cognitive behavioral therapy or psychological interventions further suggests a bidirectional interrelation between pain and emotion. Longitudinal studies are warranted on the prevalence of headache and other painful conditions in patients with progressive memory impairment to delineate the relation of pain to memory. Interrelation of headache to emotional symptoms should also be explored.
Huntjens, Rafaële J C; Peters, Madelon L; Woertman, Liesbeth; van der Hart, Onno; Postma, Albert
The present study aimed to determine interidentity retrieval of emotionally valenced words in dissociative identity disorder (DID). Twenty-two DID patients participated together with 25 normal controls and 25 controls instructed to simulate DID. Two wordlists A and B were constructed including neutral, positive and negative material. List A was shown to one identity, while list B was shown to another identity claiming total amnesia for the words learned by the first identity. The identity claiming amnesia was tested for intrusions from list A words into the recall of words from list B and recognition of the words learned by both identities. Test results indicated no evidence of total interidentity amnesia for emotionally valenced material in DID. It is argued that dissociative amnesia in DID may more adequately be described as a disturbance in meta-memory functioning instead of an actual retrieval inability.
Thoern, Hanna A; Grueschow, Marcus; Ehlert, Ulrike; Ruff, Christian C; Kleim, Birgit
There is extensive evidence for an association between an attentional bias towards emotionally negative stimuli and vulnerability to stress-related psychopathology. Less is known about whether selective attention towards emotionally positive stimuli relates to mental health and stress resilience. The current study used a modified Dot Probe task to investigate if individual differences in attentional biases towards either happy or angry emotional stimuli, or an interaction between these biases, are related to self-reported trait stress resilience. In a nonclinical sample (N = 43), we indexed attentional biases as individual differences in reaction time for stimuli preceded by either happy or angry (compared to neutral) face stimuli. Participants with greater attentional bias towards happy faces (but not angry faces) reported higher trait resilience. However, an attentional bias towards angry stimuli moderated this effect: The attentional bias towards happy faces was only predictive for resilience in those individuals who also endorsed an attentional bias towards angry stimuli. An attentional bias towards positive emotional stimuli may thus be a protective factor contributing to stress resilience, specifically in those individuals who also endorse an attentional bias towards negative emotional stimuli. Our findings therefore suggest a novel target for prevention and treatment interventions addressing stress-related psychopathology.
Liverani, Maria Chiara; Manuel, Aurélie L; Guggisberg, Adrian G; Nahum, Louis; Schnider, Armin
Orbitofrontal reality filtering (ORFi) is a mechanism that allows us to keep thought and behavior in phase with reality. Its failure induces reality confusion with confabulation and disorientation. Confabulations have been claimed to have a positive emotional bias, suggesting that they emanate from a tendency to embellish the situation of a handicap. Here we tested the influence of positive emotion on ORFi in healthy subjects using a paradigm validated in reality confusing patients and with a known electrophysiological signature, a frontal positivity at 200-300 ms after memory evocation. Subjects made two continuous recognition tasks ("two runs"), composed of the same set of neutral and positive pictures, but arranged in different order. In both runs, participants had to indicate picture repetitions within, and only within, the ongoing run. The first run measures learning and recognition. The second run, where all items are familiar, requires ORFi to avoid false positive responses. High-density evoked potentials were recorded from 19 healthy subjects during completion of the task. Performance was more accurate and faster on neutral than positive pictures in both runs and for all conditions. Evoked potential correlates of emotion and reality filtering occurred at 260-350 ms but dissociated in terms of amplitude and topography. In both runs, positive stimuli evoked a more negative frontal potential than neutral ones. In the second run, the frontal positivity characteristic of reality filtering was separately, and to the same degree, expressed for positive and neutral stimuli. We conclude that ORFi, the ability to place oneself correctly in time and space, is not influenced by emotional positivity of the processed material.
Liverani, Maria Chiara; Manuel, Aurélie L.; Guggisberg, Adrian G.; Nahum, Louis; Schnider, Armin
Orbitofrontal reality filtering (ORFi) is a mechanism that allows us to keep thought and behavior in phase with reality. Its failure induces reality confusion with confabulation and disorientation. Confabulations have been claimed to have a positive emotional bias, suggesting that they emanate from a tendency to embellish the situation of a handicap. Here we tested the influence of positive emotion on ORFi in healthy subjects using a paradigm validated in reality confusing patients and with a known electrophysiological signature, a frontal positivity at 200–300 ms after memory evocation. Subjects made two continuous recognition tasks (“two runs”), composed of the same set of neutral and positive pictures, but arranged in different order. In both runs, participants had to indicate picture repetitions within, and only within, the ongoing run. The first run measures learning and recognition. The second run, where all items are familiar, requires ORFi to avoid false positive responses. High-density evoked potentials were recorded from 19 healthy subjects during completion of the task. Performance was more accurate and faster on neutral than positive pictures in both runs and for all conditions. Evoked potential correlates of emotion and reality filtering occurred at 260–350 ms but dissociated in terms of amplitude and topography. In both runs, positive stimuli evoked a more negative frontal potential than neutral ones. In the second run, the frontal positivity characteristic of reality filtering was separately, and to the same degree, expressed for positive and neutral stimuli. We conclude that ORFi, the ability to place oneself correctly in time and space, is not influenced by emotional positivity of the processed material. PMID:27303276
Dolcos, Florin; Iordan, Alexandru D; Kragel, James; Stokes, Jared; Campbell, Ryan; McCarthy, Gregory; Cabeza, Roberto
A fundamental question in the emotional memory literature is why emotion enhances memory in some conditions but disrupts memory in other conditions. For example, separate studies have shown that emotional stimuli tend to be better remembered in long-term episodic memory (EM), whereas emotional distracters tend to impair working memory (WM) maintenance. The first goal of this study was to directly compare the neural correlates of EM enhancement (EME) and WM impairing (WMI) effects, and the second goal was to explore individual differences in these mechanisms. During event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), participants maintained faces in WM while being distracted by emotional or neutral pictures presented during the delay period. EM for the distracting pictures was tested after scanning and was used to identify successful encoding activity for the picture distracters. The first goal yielded two findings: (1) emotional pictures that disrupted face WM but enhanced subsequent EM were associated with increased amygdala (AMY) and hippocampal activity (ventral system) coupled with reduced dorsolateral PFC (dlPFC) activity (dorsal system); (2) trials in which emotion enhanced EM without disrupting WM were associated with increased ventrolateral PFC activity. The ventral-dorsal switch can explain EME and WMI, while the ventrolateral PFC effect suggests a coping mechanism. The second goal yielded two additional findings: (3) participants who were more susceptible to WMI showed greater amygdala increases and PFC reductions; (4) AMY activity increased and dlPFC activity decreased with measures of attentional impulsivity. Taken together, these results clarify the mechanisms linking the enhancing and impairing effects of emotion on memory, and provide insights into the role of individual differences in the impact of emotional distraction.
Recognition memory for low- and high-frequency-filtered emotional faces: Low spatial frequencies drive emotional memory enhancement, whereas high spatial frequencies drive the emotion-induced recognition bias.
Rohr, Michaela; Tröger, Johannes; Michely, Nils; Uhde, Alarith; Wentura, Dirk
This article deals with two well-documented phenomena regarding emotional stimuli: emotional memory enhancement-that is, better long-term memory for emotional than for neutral stimuli-and the emotion-induced recognition bias-that is, a more liberal response criterion for emotional than for neutral stimuli. Studies on visual emotion perception and attention suggest that emotion-related processes can be modulated by means of spatial-frequency filtering of the presented emotional stimuli. Specifically, low spatial frequencies are assumed to play a primary role for the influence of emotion on attention and judgment. Given this theoretical background, we investigated whether spatial-frequency filtering also impacts (1) the memory advantage for emotional faces and (2) the emotion-induced recognition bias, in a series of old/new recognition experiments. Participants completed incidental-learning tasks with high- (HSF) and low- (LSF) spatial-frequency-filtered emotional and neutral faces. The results of the surprise recognition tests showed a clear memory advantage for emotional stimuli. Most importantly, the emotional memory enhancement was significantly larger for face images containing only low-frequency information (LSF faces) than for HSF faces across all experiments, suggesting that LSF information plays a critical role in this effect, whereas the emotion-induced recognition bias was found only for HSF stimuli. We discuss our findings in terms of both the traditional account of different processing pathways for HSF and LSF information and a stimulus features account. The double dissociation in the results favors the latter account-that is, an explanation in terms of differences in the characteristics of HSF and LSF stimuli.
Roberts-Wolfe, Douglas; Sacchet, Matthew D.; Hastings, Elizabeth; Roth, Harold; Britton, Willoughby
Objectives: While mindfulness-based interventions have received widespread application in both clinical and non-clinical populations, the mechanism by which mindfulness meditation improves well-being remains elusive. One possibility is that mindfulness training alters the processing of emotional information, similar to prevailing cognitive models of depression and anxiety. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of mindfulness training on emotional information processing (i.e., memory) biases in relation to both clinical symptomatology and well-being in comparison to active control conditions. Methods: Fifty-eight university students (28 female, age = 20.1 ± 2.7 years) participated in either a 12-week course containing a “meditation laboratory” or an active control course with similar content or experiential practice laboratory format (music). Participants completed an emotional word recall task and self-report questionnaires of well-being and clinical symptoms before and after the 12-week course. Results: Meditators showed greater increases in positive word recall compared to controls [F(1, 56) = 6.6, p = 0.02]. The meditation group increased significantly more on measures of well-being [F(1, 56) = 6.6, p = 0.01], with a marginal decrease in depression and anxiety [F(1, 56) = 3.0, p = 0.09] compared to controls. Increased positive word recall was associated with increased psychological well-being (r = 0.31, p = 0.02) and decreased clinical symptoms (r = −0.29, p = 0.03). Conclusion: Mindfulness training was associated with greater improvements in processing efficiency for positively valenced stimuli than active control conditions. This change in emotional information processing was associated with improvements in psychological well-being and less depression and anxiety. These data suggest that mindfulness training may improve well-being via changes in emotional information processing. Future
Narita, Minoru; Watanabe, Moe; Hamada, Yusuke; Tamura, Hideki; Ikegami, Daigo; Kuzumaki, Naoko; Igarashi, Katsuhide
Genetic factors are involved in determinants for the risk of psychiatric disorders, and neurological and neurodegenerative diseases. Chronic pain stimuli and intense pain have effects at a cellular and/or gene expression level, and will eventually induce "cellular memory due to pain", which means that tissue damage, even if only transient, can elicit epigenetically abnormal transcription/translation and post-translational modification in related cells depending on the degree or kind of injury or associated conditions. Such cell memory/transformation due to pain can cause an abnormality in a fundamental intracellular response, such as a change in the three-dimensional structure of DNA, transcription, or translation. On the other hand, pain is a multidimensional experience with sensory-discriminative and motivational-affective components. Recent human brain imaging studies have examined differences in activity in the nucleus accumbens between controls and patients with chronic pain, and have revealed that the nucleus accumbens plays a role in predicting the value of a noxious stimulus and its offset, and in the consequent changes in the motivational state. In this review, we provide a very brief overview of a comprehensive understanding of chronic pain associated with emotional dysregulation due to transcriptional regulation, epigenetic modification and miRNA regulation.
Maheu, Françoise S.; Merke, Deborah P.; Schroth, Elizabeth A.; Keil, Margaret F.; Hardin, Julie; Poeth, Kaitlin; Pine, Daniel S.; Ernst, Monique
Summary Steroid hormones modulate memory in animals and human adults. Little is known on the developmental effect of these hormones on the neural networks underlying memory. Using Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) as a naturalistic model of early steroid abnormalities, this study examines the consequences of CAH on memory and its neural correlates for emotionally arousing and neutral material in children. Seventeen patients with CAH and 17 age- and sex-matched healthy children (ages 12 to 14 years) completed the study. Subjects were presented positive, negative and neutral pictures. Memory recall occurred about 30 minutes after viewing the pictures. Children with CAH showed memory deficits for negative pictures compared to healthy children (p < 0.01). There were no group differences on memory performance for either positive or neutral pictures (p’s >0.1). In patients, 24h urinary-free cortisol levels (reflecting glucocorticoid replacement therapy) and testosterone levels were not associated with memory performance. These findings suggest that early steroid imbalances affect memory for negative material in children with CAH. Such memory impairments may result from abnormal brain organization and function following hormonal dysfunction during critical periods of development. PMID:18162329
Maheu, Françoise S; Merke, Deborah P; Schroth, Elizabeth A; Keil, Margaret F; Hardin, Julie; Poeth, Kaitlin; Pine, Daniel S; Ernst, Monique
Steroid hormones modulate memory in animals and human adults. Little is known on the developmental effects of these hormones on the neural networks underlying memory. Using Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) as a naturalistic model of early steroid abnormalities, this study examines the consequences of CAH on memory and its neural correlates for emotionally arousing and neutral material in children. Seventeen patients with CAH and 17 age- and sex-matched healthy children (ages 12-14 years) completed the study. Subjects were presented positive, negative and neutral pictures. Memory recall occurred about 30min after viewing the pictures. Children with CAH showed memory deficits for negative pictures compared to healthy children (p<0.01). There were no group differences on memory performance for either positive or neutral pictures (p>0.1). In patients, 24h urinary-free cortisol levels (reflecting glucocorticoid replacement therapy) and testosterone levels were not associated with memory performance. These findings suggest that early steroid imbalances affect memory for negative material in children with CAH. Such memory impairments may result from abnormal brain organization and function following hormonal dysfunction during critical periods of development.
Grühn, Daniel; Scheibe, Susanne; Baltes, Paul B
Using the heterogeneity-homogeneity list paradigm, the authors investigated 48 young adults' (20-30 years) and 48 older adults' (65-75 years) recognition memory for emotional pictures. The authors obtained no evidence for a positivity bias in older adults' memory: Age differences were primarily driven by older adults' diminished ability to remember negative pictures. The authors further found a strong effect of list types: Pictures, particularly neutral ones, were better recognized in homogeneous (blocked) lists than in heterogeneous (mixed) ones. Results confirm those of a previous study by D. Grühn, J. Smith, and P. B. Baltes (2005) that used a different type of to-be-remembered material, that is, pictures instead of words.
Alger, Sara E; Payne, Jessica D
Relational memories are formed from shared components between directly learned memory associations, flexibly linking learned information to better inform future judgments. Sleep has been found to facilitate both direct associative and relational memories. However, the impact of incorporating emotionally salient information into learned material and the interaction of emotional salience and sleep in facilitating both types of memory is unknown. Participants encoded two sets of picture pairs, with either emotionally negative or neutral objects paired with neutral faces. The same objects were present in both sets, paired with two different faces across the sets. Baseline memory for these directly paired associates was tested immediately after encoding, followed by either a 90-min nap opportunity or wakefulness. Five hours after learning, a surprise test assessed relational memory, the indirect association between two faces paired with the same object during encoding, followed by a retest of direct associative memory. Overall, negative information was remembered better than neutral for directly learned pairs. A nap facilitated both preservation of direct associative memories and formation of relational memories, compared to remaining awake. Interestingly, however, this sleep benefit was observed specifically for neutral directly paired associates, while both neutral and negative relational associations benefitted from a nap. Finally, REM sleep played opposing roles in neutral direct and relational associative memory formation, with more REM sleep leading to forgetting of direct associations but promoting relational associations, suggesting that, while not benefitting memory consolidation for directly learned details, REM sleep may foster the memory reorganization needed for relational memory.
Wing, Erik A.; Cabeza, Roberto
Evidence from functional neuroimaging studies of emotional perception shows that when attention is focused on external features of emotional stimuli (external perceptual orienting—EPO), the amygdala is primarily engaged, but when attention is turned inwards towards one’s own emotional state (interoceptive self-orienting—ISO), regions of the salience network, such as the anterior insula (AI) and the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), also play a major role. Yet, it is unknown if ISO boosts the contributions of AI and dACC not only to emotional ‘perception’ but also to emotional ‘memory’. To investigate this issue, participants were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while viewing emotional and neutral pictures under ISO or EPO, and memory was tested several days later. The study yielded three main findings: (i) emotion boosted perception-related activity in the amygdala during both ISO and EPO and in the right AI exclusively during ISO; (ii) emotion augmented activity predicting subsequent memory in AI and dACC during ISO but not during EPO and (iii) high confidence memory was associated with increased amygdala–dACC connectivity, selectively for ISO encoding. These findings show, for the first time, that ISO promotes emotional memory formation via regions associated with interoceptive awareness of emotional experience, such as AI and dACC. PMID:26645274
Abercrombie, Heather C; Kalin, Ned H; Thurow, Marchell E; Rosenkranz, Melissa A; Davidson, Richard J
In a test of the effects of cortisol on emotional memory, 90 men were orally administered placebo or 20 or 40 mg cortisol and presented with emotionally arousing and neutral stimuli. On memory tests administered within 1 hr of stimulus presentation, cortisol elevations caused a reduction in the number of errors committed on free-recall tasks. Two evenings later, when cortisol levels were no longer manipulated, inverted-U quadratic trends were found for recognition memory tasks, reflecting memory facilitation in the 20-mg group for both negative and neutral information. Results suggest that the effects of cortisol on memory do not differ substantially for emotional and neutral information. The study provides evidence of beneficial effects of acute cortisol elevations on explicit memory in humans.
Nielsen, Shawn E; Ahmed, Imran; Cahill, Larry
Sex influences on emotional memory have received increasing interest over the past decade. However, only a subset of this previous work explored the influence of sex on memory for central information (gist) and peripheral detail in emotional versus neutral contexts. Here we examined the influence of sex and menstrual cycle phase at encoding on memory for either an emotional or neutral story, specifically with respect to the retention of gist and peripheral detail. Healthy naturally cycling women and men viewed a brief, narrated, three-phase story containing neutral or emotionally arousing elements. One week later, participants received a surprise free recall test for story elements. The results indicate that naturally cycling women in the luteal (high hormone) phase of the menstrual cycle at encoding show enhanced memory for peripheral details, but not gist, when in the emotional compared with neutral stories (p<.05). In contrast, naturally cycling women in the follicular (low hormone) phase of the menstrual cycle at encoding did not show enhanced memory for gist or peripheral details in the emotional compared with neutral stories. Men show enhanced memory for gist, but not peripheral details, in the emotional versus neutral stories (p<.05). In addition, these sex influences on memory cannot be attributed to differences in attention or arousal; luteal women, follicular women, and men performed similarly on measures of attention (fixation time percentage) and arousal (pupil diameter changes) during the most arousing phase of the emotional story. These findings suggest that sex and menstrual cycle phase at encoding influence long term memory for different types of emotional information.
Dew, Ilana T Z; Ritchey, Maureen; LaBar, Kevin S; Cabeza, Roberto
A fundamental idea in memory research is that items are more likely to be remembered if encoded with a semantic, rather than perceptual, processing strategy. Interestingly, this effect has been shown to reverse for emotionally arousing materials, such that perceptual processing enhances memory for emotional information or events. The current fMRI study investigated the neural mechanisms of this effect by testing how neural activations during emotional memory retrieval are influenced by the prior encoding strategy. Participants incidentally encoded emotional and neutral pictures under instructions to attend to either semantic or perceptual properties of each picture. Recognition memory was tested 2 days later. fMRI analyses yielded three main findings. First, right amygdalar activity associated with emotional memory strength was enhanced by prior perceptual processing. Second, prior perceptual processing of emotional pictures produced a stronger effect on recollection- than familiarity-related activations in the right amygdala and left hippocampus. Finally, prior perceptual processing enhanced amygdalar connectivity with regions strongly associated with retrieval success, including hippocampal/parahippocampal regions, visual cortex, and ventral parietal cortex. Taken together, the results specify how encoding orientations yield alterations in brain systems that retrieve emotional memories.
Beblo, Thomas; Fernando, Silvia; Kamper, Pia; Griepenstroh, Julia; Aschenbrenner, Steffen; Pastuszak, Anna; Schlosser, Nicole; Driessen, Martin
Patients with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) show evidence of disturbed emotion regulation. In particular, patients may try to suppress their emotions with possibly negative effects on mental health. We investigated the suppression of both negative and positive emotions in BPD patients and healthy participants. Thirty BPD patients and 30 matched healthy controls were assessed for emotion suppression using the Emotion Acceptance Questionnaire (EAQ). In addition, we administered additional questionnaires to validate emotion suppression findings. BPD patients reported increased attempts to suppress both negative and positive emotions. These findings indicate that BPD patients are not simply acting out negative emotions. Therapeutic approaches that focus on emotion acceptance of emotions are supported by our study data. Apart from negative emotions, treatment programs should consider positive emotions as well.
García-Pacios, Javier; Del Río, David; Villalobos, Dolores; Ruiz-Vargas, José M.; Maestú, Fernando
Emotional stimuli automatically recruit attentional resources. Although this usually brings more adaptive responses, it may suppose a disadvantage when emotional information is task-irrelevant and should be ignored. Previous studies have shown how emotional stimuli with a negative content exert a greater interference than neutral stimuli during a concurrent working memory (WM) task. However, the impact of positively valenced stimuli as interference has not been addressed to date. In three experiments and one re-analysis we explore the impact of pleasant and unpleasant emotional distractors during WM maintenance. The results suggest that our cognitive control can cope with the interference posed by pleasant distractors as well as with the interference posed by neutral stimuli. However, unpleasant distractors are harder to control in the context of WM maintenance. As unpleasant stimuli usually convey relevant information that we should not to ignore, our executive control seems to be less able to reallocate cognitive resources after unpleasant distraction. PMID:25999894
Kalokerinos, Elise K; Greenaway, Katharine H; Denson, Thomas F
The emotion regulation literature is growing exponentially, but there is limited understanding of the comparative strengths of emotion regulation strategies in downregulating positive emotional experiences. The present research made the first systematic investigation examining the consequences of using expressive suppression and cognitive reappraisal strategies to downregulate positive and negative emotion within a single design. Two experiments with over 1,300 participants demonstrated that reappraisal successfully reduced the experience of negative and positive affect compared with suppression and control conditions. Suppression did not reduce the experience of either positive or negative emotion relative to the control condition. This finding provides evidence against the assumption that expressive suppression reduces the experience of positive emotion. This work speaks to an emerging literature on the benefits of downregulating positive emotion, showing that suppression is an appropriate strategy when one wishes to reduce positive emotion displays while maintaining the benefits of positive emotional experience.
Davis, Elizabeth L; Levine, Linda J
The link between emotion regulation and academic achievement is well documented. Less is known about specific emotion regulation strategies that promote learning. Six- to 13-year-olds (N = 126) viewed a sad film and were instructed to reappraise the importance, reappraise the outcome, or ruminate about the sad events; another group received no regulation instructions. Children viewed an educational film, and memory for this was later assessed. As predicted, reappraisal strategies more effectively attenuated children's self-reported emotional processing. Reappraisal enhanced memory for educational details relative to no instructions. Rumination did not lead to differences in memory from the other instructions. Memory benefits of effective instructions were pronounced for children with poorer emotion regulation skill, suggesting the utility of reappraisal in learning contexts.
Ong, Anthony D; Zautra, Alex J; Reid, M Carrington
The February-March 2014 special issue of the American Psychologist featured articles summarizing select contributions from the field of psychology to the assessment and treatment of chronic pain. The articles examined a range of psychosocial and family factors that influence individual adjustment and contribute to disparities in pain care. The reviews also considered the psychological correlates and neurophysiological mechanisms of specific pain treatments, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, hypnosis, acceptance and commitment therapy, mindfulness, and meditation. Although a number of articles emphasized the role that negative states of mind play in pain outcomes, positive emotions were given only brief mention. Here, we provide a rationale for the inclusion of positive emotions in chronic pain research.
Santos, Veruska; Paes, Flavia; Pereira, Valeska; Arias-Carrión, Oscar; Silva, Adriana Cardoso; Carta, Mauro Giovanni; Nardi, Antonio Egidio; Machado, Sergio
The present study aims to conduct a systematic review of the literature by checking the impact of positive emotion in the treatment of depression and on the use of strategies of positive psychology which involves positive emotion to treat and reduce symptoms of depression. For this purpose, we conducted searches in databases ISI Web of Knowledge, PsycINFO and PubMed and found a total of 3400 studies. After inclusion application and exclusion criteria, 28 articles remained, presented and discussed in this study. The studies have important relations between humor and positive emotion as well as a significant improvement in signs and symptoms of depression using differents strategies of positive psychology. Another relevant aspect is the preventative character of the proposed interventions by positive psychology by the fact that increase well-being and produce elements such as resilience and coping resources that reduce the recurrent relapses in the treatment of depression. The strategies of positive psychology, such as increasing positive emotions, develop personal strengths: seeking direction, meaning and engagement for the day-to-day life of the patients, appear as potentially tools for the prophylaxis and treatment of depression, helping to reduce signs and symptoms as well as for prevention of relapses. PMID:24358052
Santos, Veruska; Paes, Flavia; Pereira, Valeska; Arias-Carrión, Oscar; Silva, Adriana Cardoso; Carta, Mauro Giovanni; Nardi, Antonio Egidio; Machado, Sergio
The present study aims to conduct a systematic review of the literature by checking the impact of positive emotion in the treatment of depression and on the use of strategies of positive psychology which involves positive emotion to treat and reduce symptoms of depression. For this purpose, we conducted searches in databases ISI Web of Knowledge, PsycINFO and PubMed and found a total of 3400 studies. After inclusion application and exclusion criteria, 28 articles remained, presented and discussed in this study. The studies have important relations between humor and positive emotion as well as a significant improvement in signs and symptoms of depression using differents strategies of positive psychology. Another relevant aspect is the preventative character of the proposed interventions by positive psychology by the fact that increase well-being and produce elements such as resilience and coping resources that reduce the recurrent relapses in the treatment of depression. The strategies of positive psychology, such as increasing positive emotions, develop personal strengths: seeking direction, meaning and engagement for the day-to-day life of the patients, appear as potentially tools for the prophylaxis and treatment of depression, helping to reduce signs and symptoms as well as for prevention of relapses.
Hayes, Scott M.; Alosco, Michael L.; Hayes, Jasmeet P.; Cadden, Margaret; Peterson, Kristina M.; Allsup, Kelly; Forman, Daniel E.; Sperling, Reisa A.; Verfaellie, Mieke
Aging is associated with performance reductions in executive function and episodic memory, although there is substantial individual variability in cognition among older adults. One factor that may be positively associated with cognition in aging is physical activity. To date, few studies have objectively assessed physical activity in young and older adults, and examined whether physical activity is differentially associated with cognition in aging. Young (n = 29, age 18–31 years) and older adults (n = 31, ages 55–82 years) completed standardized neuropsychological testing to assess executive function and episodic memory capacities. An experimental face-name relational memory task was administered to augment assessment of episodic memory. Physical activity (total step count and step rate) was objectively assessed using an accelerometer, and hierarchical regressions were used to evaluate relationships between cognition and physical activity. Older adults performed more poorly on tasks of executive function and episodic memory. Physical activity was positively associated with a composite measure of visual episodic memory and face-name memory accuracy in older adults. Physical activity associations with cognition were independent of sedentary behavior, which was negatively correlated with memory performance. Physical activity was not associated with cognitive performance in younger adults. Physical activity is positively associated with episodic memory performance in aging. The relationship appears to be strongest for face-name relational memory and visual episodic memory, likely attributable to the fact that these tasks make strong demands on the hippocampus. The results suggest that physical activity relates to cognition in older, but not younger adults. PMID:26581790
Haque, Shamsul; Hasking, Penelope A
Two studies examined the ability of the life script account to explain the reminiscence bump for emotionally charged autobiographical memories among Malaysian participants. In Study 1 volunteers, aged 50-90 years, participated in a two-phased task. In the first phase, participants estimated the timing of 11 life events (both positive and negative) that may occur in a prototypical life course within their own culture. Two weeks later the participants retrieved the same set of events from their lives and reported how old they were when those events occurred. In the second study 92 undergraduate students produced life scripts for the same 11 events. The findings revealed reminiscence bumps in both life script and retrieval curves for the memories judged happiest, most important, most in love, and most jealous. A reminiscence bump was also noted for success, although this was later in the lifespan than other reminiscence bumps. It was suggested that the life scripts can be used as an alternative account for the reminiscence bump, for highly positive and occasionally for negative autobiographical memories.
Dillon, Daniel G.
Adults with unipolar depression typically show poor episodic memory for positive material, but the neuroscientific mechanisms responsible for this deficit have not been characterized. I suggest a simple hypothesis: weak memory for positive material in depression reflects disrupted communication between the mesolimbic dopamine pathway and medial temporal lobe (MTL) memory systems during encoding. This proposal draws on basic research showing that dopamine release in the hippocampus is critical for the transition from early- to late-phase long-term potentiation (LTP) that marks the conversion of labile, short-term memories into stable, long-term memories. Neuroimaging and pharmacological data from healthy humans paint a similar picture: activation of the mesolimbic reward circuit enhances encoding and boosts retention. Unipolar depression is characterized by anhedonia–loss of pleasure–and reward circuit dysfunction, which is believed to reflect negative effects of stress on the mesolimbic dopamine pathway. Thus, I propose that the MTL is deprived of strengthening reward signals in depressed adults and memory for positive events suffers accordingly. Although other mechanisms are important, this hypothesis holds promise as an explanation for positive memory deficits in depression. PMID:26441703
Silvia, Paul J.; Jackson, Bryonna A.; Sopko, Rachel S.
Several recent studies have found significant correlations, medium in effect size, between baseline heart rate variability (HRV) and measures of positive functioning, such as extraversion, agreeableness, and trait positive affectivity. Other research, however, has suggested an optimal level of HRV and found nonlinear effects. In the present study, a diverse sample of 239 young adults completed a wide range of measures that reflect positive psychological functioning, including personality traits, an array of positive emotions (measured with the Dispositional Positive Emotions Scale), and depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms (measured with the DASS and CESD). HRV was measured with a 6-minute baseline period and quantified using many common HRV metrics (e.g., respiratory sinus arrhythmia, root mean square of successive differences, and others), and potentially confounding behavioral and lifestyle variables (e.g., BMI, caffeine and nicotine use, sleep quality) were assessed. Neither linear nor non-linear effects were found, and the effect sizes were small and near zero. The findings suggest that the cross-sectional relationship between HRV and positive experience deserves more attention and meta-analytic synthesis. PMID:25147421
Silvia, Paul J; Jackson, Bryonna A; Sopko, Rachel S
Several recent studies have found significant correlations, medium in effect size, between baseline heart rate variability (HRV) and measures of positive functioning, such as extraversion, agreeableness, and trait positive affectivity. Other research, however, has suggested an optimal level of HRV and found nonlinear effects. In the present study, a diverse sample of 239 young adults completed a wide range of measures that reflect positive psychological functioning, including personality traits, an array of positive emotions (measured with the Dispositional Positive Emotions Scale), and depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms (measured with the DASS and CESD). HRV was measured with a 6-minute baseline period and quantified using many common HRV metrics (e.g., respiratory sinus arrhythmia, root mean square of successive differences, and others), and potentially confounding behavioral and lifestyle variables (e.g., BMI, caffeine and nicotine use, sleep quality) were assessed. Neither linear nor non-linear effects were found, and the effect sizes were small and near zero. The findings suggest that the cross-sectional relationship between HRV and positive experience deserves more attention and meta-analytic synthesis.
Ribeiro, Alessandra M; Barbosa, Flávio F; Godinho, Monique R; Fernandes, Valéria S; Munguba, Hermany; Melo, Thieza G; Barbosa, Marla T; Eufrasio, Raí A; Cabral, Alícia; Izídio, Geison S; Silva, Regina H
Studies usually show better spatial learning in males and stronger emotional memory in females. Spatial memory differences could relate to diverse strategies, while dissimilar stress reactions could cause emotional memory differences. We compared male and female rats in two emotional (classical emotional conditioning and aversive discrimination memory) and two emotionally "neutral" tasks: (1) plus-maze discriminative avoidance, containing two open and two enclosed arms, one of which presenting aversive stimuli (light/noise). No differences were found in learning, retrieving, or basal emotional levels, while only male rats presented extinction of the task; (2) contextual fear conditioning--a cage was paired to mild foot shocks. Upon reexposure, freezing behavior was decreased in females; (3) spontaneous alternation--the animals were expected to alternate among the arms of a four-arm maze. No differences between genders were found and (4) open-field habituation was addressed in an arena which the rats were allowed to explore for 10 min. Habituation was similar between genders. Differences were found only in tasks with strong emotional contexts, where different fear responses and stress effects could be determinant. The lack of extinction of discriminative avoidance by females points out to stronger consolidation and/or impaired extinction of aversive memories.
Kaplan, Robin L; Van Damme, Ilse; Levine, Linda J
People often show enhanced memory for information that is central to emotional events and impaired memory for peripheral details. The intensity of arousal elicited by an emotional event is commonly held to be the mechanism underlying memory narrowing, with the implication that all sources of emotional arousal should have comparable effects. Discrete emotions differ in their effects on memory, however, with some emotions broadening rather than narrowing the range of information attended to and remembered. Thus, features of emotion other than arousal appear to play a critical role in memory narrowing. We review theory and research on emotional memory narrowing and argue that motivation matters. Recent evidence suggests that emotions experienced prior to goal attainment or loss lead to memory narrowing whereas emotions experienced after goal attainment or loss broaden the range of information encoded in memory. The motivational component of emotion is an important but understudied feature that can help to clarify the conditions under which emotions enhance and impair attention and memory.
Bradley, Margaret M; Lang, Peter J
Recent studies have suggested that pupil diameter, like the "old-new" ERP, may be a measure of memory. Because the amplitude of the old-new ERP is enhanced for items encoded in the context of repetitions that are distributed (spaced), compared to massed (contiguous), we investigated whether pupil diameter is similarly sensitive to repetition. Emotional and neutral pictures of natural scenes were viewed once or repeated with massed (contiguous) or distributed (spaced) repetition during incidental free viewing and then tested on an explicit recognition test. Although an old-new difference in pupil diameter was found during successful recognition, pupil diameter was not enhanced for distributed, compared to massed, repetitions during either recognition or initial free viewing. Moreover, whereas a significant old-new difference was found for erotic scenes that had been seen only once during encoding, this difference was absent when erotic scenes were repeated. Taken together, the data suggest that pupil diameter is not a straightforward index of prior occurrence for natural scenes.
Majerus, Steve; D'Argembeau, Arnaud
Many studies suggest that long-term lexical-semantic knowledge is an important determinant of verbal short-term memory (STM) performance. This study explored the impact of emotional valence on word immediate serial recall as a further lexico-semantic long-term memory (LTM) effect on STM. This effect is particularly interesting for the study of…
Nelis, Sabine; Debeer, Elise; Holmes, Emily A.; Raes, Filip
Autobiographical memories are retrieved as images from either a field perspective or an observer perspective. The observer perspective is thought to dull emotion. Positive affect is blunted in depressed mood. Consequently, are positive events recalled from an observer perspective in depressed mood? We investigated the relationship between memory vantage perspective and depressive symptoms in a student sample. Participants completed the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT; Williams & Broadbent, 1986) and assessed the perspective accompanying each memory. The Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II; Beck, Steer, & Brown, 1996) and the Responses to Positive Affect questionnaire (RPA; Feldman, Joormann, & Johnson, 2008) were administered. The results showed a small positive association between depressive symptoms and the use of an observer perspective for positive autobiographical memories, but not for negative memories. Furthermore, comparing a subgroup with clinically significant symptom levels (dysphoric students) with non-dysphoric individuals revealed that dysphoric students used an observer perspective more for positive memories compared with negative memories. This was not the case for non-dysphoric students. The observer perspective in dysphorics was associated with a dampening cognitive style in response to positive experiences. PMID:23083015
Sergerie, Karine; Armony, Jorge L; Menear, Matthew; Sutton, Hazel; Lepage, Martin
We recently showed that, in healthy individuals, emotional expression influences memory for faces both in terms of accuracy and, critically, in memory response bias (tendency to classify stimuli as previously seen or not, regardless of whether this was the case). Although schizophrenia has been shown to be associated with deficit in episodic memory and emotional processing, the relation between these processes in this population remains unclear. Here, we used our previously validated paradigm to directly investigate the modulation of emotion on memory recognition. Twenty patients with schizophrenia and matched healthy controls completed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study of recognition memory of happy, sad, and neutral faces. Brain activity associated with the response bias was obtained by correlating this measure with the contrast subjective old (ie, hits and false alarms) minus subjective new (misses and correct rejections) for sad and happy expressions. Although patients exhibited an overall lower memory performance than controls, they showed the same effects of emotion on memory, both in terms of accuracy and bias. For sad faces, the similar behavioral pattern between groups was mirrored by a largely overlapping neural network, mostly involved in familiarity-based judgments (eg, parahippocampal gyrus). In contrast, controls activated a much larger set of regions for happy faces, including areas thought to underlie recollection-based memory retrieval (eg, superior frontal gyrus and hippocampus) and in novelty detection (eg, amygdala). This study demonstrates that, despite an overall lower memory accuracy, emotional memory is intact in schizophrenia, although emotion-specific differences in brain activation exist, possibly reflecting different strategies.
Sharot, Tali; Yonelinas, Andrew P.
Emotion has been suggested to slow forgetting via a mechanism that enhances memory consolidation. Here, we investigate whether this time dependent process influences the subjective experience of recollection as well as the ability to retrieve specific contextual details of the study event. To do so we examined recognition for emotional and neutral…
Howe, Mark L.; Toth, Sheree L.; Cicchetti, Dante
The authors examined 284 maltreated and nonmaltreated children's (6- to 12-year-olds) ability to inhibit true and false memories for neutral and emotional information using the Deese/Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm. Children studied either emotional or neutral DRM lists in a control condition or were given directed-remembering or…
Sommer, Tobias; Glascher, Jan; Moritz, Steffen; Buchel, Christian
According to the modulation hypothesis, arousal is the crucial factor in the emotional enhancement of memory (EEM). However, the multifactor theory of the EEM recently proposed that cognitive characteristics of emotional stimuli, e.g., relatedness and distinctiveness, also play an important role. The current study aimed to investigate the…
Van Honk, J; Kessels, R P C; Putman, P; Jager, G; Koppeschaar, H P F; Postma, A
Heightened cortisol levels due to stress or acute administration seem to enhance memory for emotional material, independently of emotional valence. An arousal-driven neurobiological mechanism involving the amygdala has been proposed. The relation between pre-task salivary measures of cortisol (by convention named 'basal levels') and emotionally modulated memory has not been investigated yet. Given the association between higher basal levels of cortisol and indices of low mood, valence-specific effects on emotionally modulated memory could be expected (e.g. mood-congruent or stimulus-specific forms of processing). This study was designed to investigate the relationship between basal levels of salivary cortisol, self-reported mood and spatial memory for neutral, happy and angry facial expressions in healthy young volunteers (N=31). Memory performance was indexed using a modified version of a computerized object-relocation task, using emotional facial expressions as stimuli. Results showed a significant relation between cortisol and depressive mood. More importantly, both the levels of cortisol and depressive mood were inversely related to the memory performance for the happy facial expressions, while a similar relationship between cortisol and memory performance on angry faces neared significance. An explanation in terms of the down-regulation of social behavior by elevated basal cortisol levels is postulated.
Wang, Hanwei; Li, Jie
The current study examines the different impacts of positive perfectionism and negative perfectionism on individuals' emotional eating, as well as stress as the proposed underlying mediator that explains the abovementioned relationships. Overall, 386 adults in China reported their levels of positive perfectionism, negative perfectionism, perceived stress, and emotional eating behaviors. Results demonstrate that positive perfectionism is negatively associated with emotional eating, while negative perfectionism is positively associated with emotional eating. In addition, stress mediates the relationship between perfectionism and emotional eating. Specifically, positive perfectionism is indirectly related to emotional eating through the mediation of stress, whereas negative perfectionism is related to emotional eating directly and indirectly through the mediation of stress. Findings of the current study indicate that practitioners working with individuals who suffer from emotional eating problems should focus on ways to reduce negative perfectionism while finding approaches that enhance positive perfectionism. With this approach, individuals would experience less stress and, therefore, would be less likely to be involved in emotional eating.
Tavares, Tamara P; Logie, Kyle; Mitchell, Derek G V
Throughout our day-to-day activities, we are subjected to numerous stimuli that compete for our attention; consequently, we must prioritize stimuli for further processing and influence over behaviour. Previous research has demonstrated that the extent to which task-irrelevant distractors are processed is mediated by the nature of the cognitive task, and the level of processing load. Importantly though, the interaction between cognitive task, processing load, and emotional distractor processing remains unclear. This is a particularly important question given the unique ways that emotion interacts with attention, and the fact that some other forms of processing load have been shown to reduce emotional distractor encoding. In the present study, participants were presented with emotional distractors during a perceptual and working memory task, under varying levels of load. In Experiment 1, we showed that the impact of emotional distractors on behaviour was reduced under conditions of high relative to low perceptual load. However, in sharp contrast, high working memory load was associated with increased emotional distraction. Importantly, these results were replicated in Experiment 2. Overall, the impact of processing load on emotional distraction varies according to the cognitive function being performed. These results raise the intriguing possibility that working memory operations deplete some of the cognitive resources needed to control the impact of emotion on behaviour. The findings, therefore, may have important implications for clinical populations featuring cognitive dysfunction and emotional dysregulation.
Cardoso, Christopher; Orlando, Mark Anthony; Brown, Christopher A; Ellenbogen, Mark A
Intranasal oxytocin has been shown to alter self-perceptions of personality (e.g., more trusting, increased extraversion). To follow up these findings, we examined the acute effects of two doses of intranasal oxytocin (24 IU and 48 IU) on another form of self-referential cognition: autobiographical memory. Changes in autobiographical memory (personal memories for the past) could conceivably effect change in self-perception and consequently alter social behaviors. We predicted that oxytocin would increase the number of specific personal memories recalled, and promote the recall of positive social affiliation memories. Seventeen male participants self-administered a placebo or oxytocin (24 IU, 48 IU) using a nasal spray on three separate occasions in a placebo-controlled, double-blind, and within-subject experiment. Participants completed the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT) 110 minutes later. Analyses revealed a quadratic dose-response curve for the effects of intranasal oxytocin on autobiographical memory recall. The 24 IU dose, relative to the 48 IU dose and placebo, increased the number of specific personal memories recalled and promoted the recall of social affiliation memories that were rated more positively. The lack of effect with the 48 IU dose could be due to saturation of the oxytocin receptors at higher doses. Changes in autobiographical memory may be one mechanism by which oxytocin alters prosocial worldviews.
Basnight-Brown, Dana M.; Altarriba, Jeanette
Historically, the manner in which translation ambiguity and emotional content are represented in bilingual memory have often been ignored in many theoretical and empirical investigations, resulting in these linguistic factors related to bilingualism being absent from even the most promising models of bilingual memory representation. However, in…
Kindt, Merel; van Emmerik, Arnold
The discovery that fear memories may change upon retrieval, a process referred to as memory reconsolidation, opened avenues to develop a revolutionary new treatment for emotional memory disorders. Reconsolidation is a two-phase process in which retrieval of a memory initiates a transient period of memory destabilization, followed by a protein synthesis-dependent restabilization phase. This reconsolidation window offers unique opportunities for amnesic agents to interfere with the process of memory restabilization, thereby weakening or even erasing the emotional expression from specific fear memories. Here we present four uncontrolled case descriptions of patients with symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who received a reconsolidation intervention. The intervention basically involves a brief reactivation of the trauma memory aimed to trigger memory destabilization, followed by the intake of one pill of 40 mg propranolol HCl (i.e. a noradrenergic beta-blocker) that should disrupt the process of memory restabilization. We present three cases who showed a steep decline of fear symptoms after only one or two intervention sessions. To illustrate that the translation from basic science to clinical practice is not self-evident, we also present a description of a noneffective intervention in a relatively complex case. Even though the reconsolidation intervention is very promising, the success of the treatment depends on whether the memory reactivation actually triggers memory reconsolidation. Obviously the uncontrolled observations described here warrant further study in placebo-controlled designs. PMID:27536348
Kungl, Melanie T.; Leyh, Rainer; Spangler, Gottfried
Frontal and parietal asymmetries have repeatedly been shown to be related to specific functional mechanisms involved in emotion regulation. From a developmental perspective, attachment representations based on experiences with the caregiver are theorized to serve regulatory functions and influence how individuals deal with emotionally challenging situations throughout the life span. This study aimed to investigate neural substrates of emotion regulation by assessing state- and trait dependent EEG asymmetries in secure, insecure-dismissing and insecure-preoccupied subjects. The sample consisted of 40 late adolescents. The Adult Attachment Interview was administered and they were asked to report upon personally highly salient emotional memories related to anger, happiness and sadness. EEG was recorded at rest and during the retrieval of each of these emotional memories, and frontal and parietal hemispheric asymmetry were analyzed. We found attachment representations to differentially affect both the frontal and parietal organization of hemispheric asymmetry at rest and (for parietal region only) during the retrieval of emotional memories. During rest, insecure-dismissing subjects showed an elevated right-frontal brain activity and a reduced right-parietal brain activity. We interpret this finding in light of a disposition to use withdrawal strategies and low trait arousal in insecure-dismissing subjects. Emotional memory retrieval did not affect frontal asymmetry. However, both insecure groups showed an increase in right-sided parietal activity indicating increased arousal during the emotional task as compared to the resting state suggesting that their emotion regulation capability was especially challenged by the retrieval of emotional memories while securely attached subjects maintained a state of moderate arousal. The specific neurophysiological pattern of insecure-dismissing subjects is discussed with regard to a vulnerability to affective disorders. PMID
Kungl, Melanie T; Leyh, Rainer; Spangler, Gottfried
Frontal and parietal asymmetries have repeatedly been shown to be related to specific functional mechanisms involved in emotion regulation. From a developmental perspective, attachment representations based on experiences with the caregiver are theorized to serve regulatory functions and influence how individuals deal with emotionally challenging situations throughout the life span. This study aimed to investigate neural substrates of emotion regulation by assessing state- and trait dependent EEG asymmetries in secure, insecure-dismissing and insecure-preoccupied subjects. The sample consisted of 40 late adolescents. The Adult Attachment Interview was administered and they were asked to report upon personally highly salient emotional memories related to anger, happiness and sadness. EEG was recorded at rest and during the retrieval of each of these emotional memories, and frontal and parietal hemispheric asymmetry were analyzed. We found attachment representations to differentially affect both the frontal and parietal organization of hemispheric asymmetry at rest and (for parietal region only) during the retrieval of emotional memories. During rest, insecure-dismissing subjects showed an elevated right-frontal brain activity and a reduced right-parietal brain activity. We interpret this finding in light of a disposition to use withdrawal strategies and low trait arousal in insecure-dismissing subjects. Emotional memory retrieval did not affect frontal asymmetry. However, both insecure groups showed an increase in right-sided parietal activity indicating increased arousal during the emotional task as compared to the resting state suggesting that their emotion regulation capability was especially challenged by the retrieval of emotional memories while securely attached subjects maintained a state of moderate arousal. The specific neurophysiological pattern of insecure-dismissing subjects is discussed with regard to a vulnerability to affective disorders.
Mado Proverbio, C.A. Alice; Lozano Nasi, Valentina; Alessandra Arcari, Laura; De Benedetto, Francesco; Guardamagna, Matteo; Gazzola, Martina; Zani, Alberto
The aim of this study was to investigate how background auditory processing can affect other perceptual and cognitive processes as a function of stimulus content, style and emotional nature. Previous studies have offered contrasting evidence, and it has been recently shown that listening to music negatively affected concurrent mental processing in the elderly but not in young adults. To further investigate this matter, the effect of listening to music vs. listening to the sound of rain or silence was examined by administering an old/new face memory task (involving 448 unknown faces) to a group of 54 non-musician university students. Heart rate and diastolic and systolic blood pressure were measured during an explicit face study session that was followed by a memory test. The results indicated that more efficient and faster recall of faces occurred under conditions of silence or when participants were listening to emotionally touching music. Whereas auditory background (e.g., rain or joyful music) interfered with memory encoding, listening to emotionally touching music improved memory and significantly increased heart rate. It is hypothesized that touching music is able to modify the visual perception of faces by binding facial properties with auditory and emotionally charged information (music), which may therefore result in deeper memory encoding. PMID:26469712
Proverbio, Alice Mado; Mado Proverbio, C A Alice; Lozano Nasi, Valentina; Alessandra Arcari, Laura; De Benedetto, Francesco; Guardamagna, Matteo; Gazzola, Martina; Zani, Alberto
The aim of this study was to investigate how background auditory processing can affect other perceptual and cognitive processes as a function of stimulus content, style and emotional nature. Previous studies have offered contrasting evidence, and it has been recently shown that listening to music negatively affected concurrent mental processing in the elderly but not in young adults. To further investigate this matter, the effect of listening to music vs. listening to the sound of rain or silence was examined by administering an old/new face memory task (involving 448 unknown faces) to a group of 54 non-musician university students. Heart rate and diastolic and systolic blood pressure were measured during an explicit face study session that was followed by a memory test. The results indicated that more efficient and faster recall of faces occurred under conditions of silence or when participants were listening to emotionally touching music. Whereas auditory background (e.g., rain or joyful music) interfered with memory encoding, listening to emotionally touching music improved memory and significantly increased heart rate. It is hypothesized that touching music is able to modify the visual perception of faces by binding facial properties with auditory and emotionally charged information (music), which may therefore result in deeper memory encoding.
Cocenas-Silva, Raquel; Bueno, José Lino Oliveira; Droit-Volet, Sylvie
The aim of this study was to examine the effect of emotion on the long-term memory for duration. On day 1, participants learned a temporal task in a high-arousing or neutral control condition that was followed by a 15-min interference task. Then, 24 h later, on day 2, they were given a test. In this recall test, they judged whether or not comparison durations were similar to the previously learned standard duration. The results showed that temporal discrimination was more accurate in the emotional than in the neutral condition. Emotion thus strengthened memory traces of time by increasing their resistance against interference effects.
Colligan, Sean M; Koven, Nancy S
Although alexithymia is recognized as a set of traitlike deficits in emotion processing, research suggests there are concomitant cognitive issues as well, including what appears to be an unusual pattern of enhanced working memory (WM) despite broader executive dysfunction. It is unknown whether this enhancement includes the executive elements of WM and whether executive control of WM in alexithymia differs for emotional and neutral stimuli. This study examined how alexithymia moderates patterns of interference resolution in WM with valenced and nonvalenced stimuli. Participants (N = 93) completed the Toronto Alexithymia Scale and a recency probes WM task containing positive, negative, and neutral stimuli, with some trials containing proactive interference from previous trials. The reaction time difference between interference and noninterference trials indexed degree of interference resolution. Toronto Alexithymia Scale score moderated a within-subject effect such that, when valenced probes were used, there was less proactive interference in the positive relative to negative valence condition; this valence-based interference discrepancy was significant for a subset of highly alexithymic participants. Alexithymia did not moderate proactive interference to negative or neutral stimuli or accuracy of responses. These results suggest that, although alexithymia does not influence executive control in WM for nonemotional items, alexithymic people demonstrate an idiosyncratic response to positive stimuli that might indicate blunted reactivity.
Scott, D; Ponsoda, V
All previous reports on the phenomenon of flashbulb memories relate to hearing of shocking (or "bad") news: in other words, that of negative affect. This study represents the first attempt to investigate whether those criteria used to define flashbulb memories would similarly apply to events of similar strength but of positive affect. 70 questionnaires were administered relating to 20 events over a 10-yr. period. No significant differences were found on the cardinal features of flasbhulb memories for events of negative versus positive affect. This suggests that an hitherto untapped research area may be explored to clarify controversial issues within this construct such as whether a special mechanism exists in the formation of flashbulb memories.
The 2014 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine is an enormous triumph for John O’Keefe and May-Britt and Edvard Moser and an historic event for cognitive and behavioral neuroscience. Neuronal representations decoded from action potentials form a mechanistic bridge between brain and mind and demonstrate the continuity of psychology with biology and physical science. The cognitive map theory powered an ongoing, international research program inspired by Hebb (1949 The Organization of Behavior. New York, NY: Wiley) that showed the way toward linking specific patterns of neuronal activity to high level representation and processing. The prize celebrates a path that led from fundamental, philosophical questions about psychological space to enduring, scientific facts: place, head direction, grid, and boundary fields in the hippocampus, presubiculum, entorhinal cortex, and other brain circuits provide a cellular basis for spatial behavior, learning, and memory. By awarding this prize, the Nobel committee affirmed neuroethology and comparative psychology, marked the end of a chapter in one debate about the existence of animal cognition, and recognized cognitive neurophysiology. The “inner GPS” in the brain” demonstrates “a cellular basis for higher cognitive function.” Animals represent, process, and use information defined by abstract relationships among items (O’Keefe and Conway, 1978) to guide flexible, goal-directed actions. Beyond raising the ontological status of “animal mind,” the committee agreed that abstract mental representations can be investigated rigorously by recording single unit activity in the brain of behaving animals. PMID:25800503
The 2014 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine is an enormous triumph for John O'Keefe and May-Britt and Edvard Moser and an historic event for cognitive and behavioral neuroscience. Neuronal representations decoded from action potentials form a mechanistic bridge between brain and mind and demonstrate the continuity of psychology with biology and physical science. The cognitive map theory powered an ongoing, international research program inspired by Hebb (The Organization of Behavior. New York, NY: Wiley) that showed the way toward linking specific patterns of neuronal activity to high level representation and processing. The prize celebrates a path that led from fundamental, philosophical questions about psychological space to enduring, scientific facts: place, head direction, grid, and boundary fields in the hippocampus, presubiculum, entorhinal cortex, and other brain circuits provide a cellular basis for spatial behavior, learning, and memory. By awarding this prize, the Nobel committee affirmed neuroethology and comparative psychology, marked the end of a chapter in one debate about the existence of animal cognition, and recognized cognitive neurophysiology. The "inner GPS" in the brain" demonstrates "a cellular basis for higher cognitive function." Animals represent, process, and use information defined by abstract relationships among items (O'Keefe and Conway,) to guide flexible, goal-directed actions. Beyond raising the ontological status of "animal mind," the committee agreed that abstract mental representations can be investigated rigorously by recording single unit activity in the brain of behaving animals.
Roediger, Henry L; DeSoto, K Andrew
The capacity to learn and remember surely evolved to help animals solve problems in their quest to reproduce and survive. In humans we assume that metacognitive processes also evolved, so that we know when to trust what we remember (i.e., when we have high confidence in our memories) and when not to (when we have low confidence). However this latter feature has been questioned by researchers, with some finding a high correlation between confidence and accuracy in reports from memory and others finding little to no correlation. In two experiments we report a recognition memory paradigm that, using the same materials (categorised lists), permits the study of positive correlations, zero correlations, and negative correlations between confidence and accuracy within the same procedure. We had subjects study words from semantic categories with the five items most frequently produced in norms omitted from the list; later, subjects were given an old/new recognition test and made confidence ratings on their judgements. Although the correlation between confidence and accuracy for studied items was generally positive, the correlation for the five omitted items was negative in some methods of analysis. We pinpoint the similarity between lures and targets as creating inversions between confidence and accuracy in memory. We argue that, while confidence is generally a useful indicant of accuracy in reports from memory, in certain environmental circumstances even adaptive processes can foster illusions of memory. Thus understanding memory illusions is similar to understanding perceptual illusions: Processes that are usually adaptive can go awry under certain circumstances.
Olsen, Emily K; Bjorkquist, Olivia A; Bodapati, Anjuli S; Shankman, Stewart A; Herbener, Ellen S
Individuals with schizophrenia (SZ) and individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD) demonstrate impaired emotional memory and decreased enjoyment of pleasant experiences (e.g., anhedonia). However, it is unclear whether these impairments reflect similar or different processes in the two diagnostic groups. This study compared emotional memory performance in three groups of females - controls, MDD, and SZ. Given that physical and social trait anhedonia has been shown to differentiate course of illness and emotional functioning within each disorder, the present study also examined whether trait anhedonia related to emotional memory differently in the groups. Participants viewed emotional and neutral images and twenty-four hours later completed an incidental recognition test. SZ participants demonstrated a trend for the worst memory performance. Across all groups, high intensity and negative images were remembered most accurately, while groups were not differentially influenced by the valence of the stimuli. Physical anhedonia was predictive of reduced memory for negative stimuli across all diagnostic groups. Group specific findings indicated that higher levels of social anhedonia were predictive of poorer memory, but only in the SZ group. Effects remained significant when controlling for depressive symptoms. Results are considered in light of the differing role of anhedonia in SZ and MDD.
Lau, Patrick S Y; Wu, Florence K Y
The concept of emotional competence as a positive youth development construct is reviewed in this paper. Differences between emotional intelligence and emotional competence are discussed and an operational definition is adopted. Assessment methods of emotional competence with an emphasis on its quantitative nature are introduced. In the discussion of theories of emotional competence, the functionalist and developmental perspectives and the relationships with positive youth development are highlighted. Possible antecedents, especially the influence of early child-caregiver, and expected outcomes of emotional competence are examined. Practical ways to promote emotional competence among adolescents, particularly the role of parents and teachers, and the future direction of research are also discussed.
Lau, Patrick S. Y.; Wu, Florence K. Y.
The concept of emotional competence as a positive youth development construct is reviewed in this paper. Differences between emotional intelligence and emotional competence are discussed and an operational definition is adopted. Assessment methods of emotional competence with an emphasis on its quantitative nature are introduced. In the discussion of theories of emotional competence, the functionalist and developmental perspectives and the relationships with positive youth development are highlighted. Possible antecedents, especially the influence of early child-caregiver, and expected outcomes of emotional competence are examined. Practical ways to promote emotional competence among adolescents, particularly the role of parents and teachers, and the future direction of research are also discussed. PMID:22666176
Ravassard, Pascal; Hamieh, Al Mahdy; Joseph, Mickaël Antoine; Fraize, Nicolas; Libourel, Paul-Antoine; Lebarillier, Léa; Arthaud, Sébastien; Meissirel, Claire; Touret, Monique; Malleret, Gaël; Salin, Paul-Antoine
Prolonged rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep deprivation has long been used to study the role of REM sleep in learning and memory processes. However, this method potentially induces stress and fatigue that may directly affect cognitive functions. Here, by using a short-term and nonstressful REM sleep deprivation (RSD) method we assessed in rats the bidirectional influence of reduced and increased REM sleep amount on hippocampal-dependent emotional memory and plasticity. Our results indicate that 4 h RSD impaired consolidation of contextual fear conditioning (CFC) and induction of long-term potentiation (LTP), while decreasing density of Egr1/Zif268-expressing neurons in the CA1 region of the dorsal hippocampus. LTP and Egr1 expression were not affected in ventral CA1. Conversely, an increase in REM sleep restores and further facilitates CFC consolidation and LTP induction, and also increases Egr1 expression in dorsal CA1. Moreover, CFC consolidation, Egr1 neuron density, and LTP amplitude in dorsal CA1 show a positive correlation with REM sleep amount. Altogether, these results indicate that mild changes in REM sleep amount bidirectionally affect memory and synaptic plasticity mechanisms occurring in the CA1 area of the dorsal hippocampus.
Light, Sharee N.; Coan, James A.; Zahn-Waxler, Carolyn; Frye, Corrina; Goldsmith, H. Hill; Davidson, Richard J.
Empathy is the combined ability to interpret the emotional states of others and experience resultant, related emotions. The relation between prefrontal electroencephalographic asymmetry and emotion in children is well known. The association between positive emotion (assessed via parent report), empathy (measured via observation), and…
Brown, Stephen B. R. E.; van Steenbergen, Henk; Band, Guido P. H.; de Rover, Mischa; Nieuwenhuis, Sander
The late positive potential (LPP) is an event-related potential (ERP) component over visual cortical areas that is modulated by the emotional intensity of a stimulus. However, the functional significance of this neural modulation remains elusive. We conducted two experiments in which we studied the relation between LPP amplitude, subsequent perceptual sensitivity to a non-emotional stimulus (Experiment 1) and visual cortical excitability, as reflected by P1/N1 components evoked by this stimulus (Experiment 2). During the LPP modulation elicited by unpleasant stimuli, perceptual sensitivity was not affected. In contrast, we found some evidence for a decreased N1 amplitude during the LPP modulation, a decreased P1 amplitude on trials with a relatively large LPP, and consistent negative (but non-significant) across-subject correlations between the magnitudes of the LPP modulation and corresponding changes in d-prime or P1/N1 amplitude. The results provide preliminary evidence that the LPP reflects a global inhibition of activity in visual cortex, resulting in the selective survival of activity associated with the processing of the emotional stimulus. PMID:22375117
Knight, Marisa; Mather, Mara
A large body of work reveals that people remember emotionally arousing information better than neutral information. However, previous research reveals contradictory effects of emotional events on memory for neutral events that precede or follow them: in some studies emotionally arousing items impair memory for immediately preceding or following items and in others arousing items enhance memory for preceding items. By demonstrating both emotion-induced enhancement and impairment, Experiments 1 and 2 clarified the conditions under which these effects are likely to occur. The results suggest that emotion-induced enhancement is most likely to occur for neutral items that: (1) precede (and so are poised to predict the onset of) emotionally arousing items, (2) have high attentional weights at encoding, and (3) are tested after a delay period of a week rather than within the same experiment session. In contrast, emotion-induced impairment is most likely to occur for neutral items near the onset of emotional arousal that are overshadowed by highly activated competing items during encoding. PMID:20001121
Tan, Huibing; Ahmad, Tasha; Loureiro, Michael; Zunder, Jordan; Laviolette, Steven R.
Emerging evidence from both basic and clinical research demonstrates an important role for endocannabinoid (ECB) signaling in the processing of emotionally salient information, learning, and memory. Cannabinoid transmission within neural circuits involved in emotional processing has been shown to modulate the acquisition, recall, and extinction of emotionally salient memories and importantly, can strongly modulate the emotional salience of incoming sensory information. Two neural regions in particular, the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA), play important roles in emotional regulation and contain high levels of cannabinoid receptors. Furthermore, both regions show profound abnormalities in neuropsychiatric disorders such as addiction and schizophrenia. Considerable evidence has demonstrated that cannabinoid transmission functionally interacts with dopamine (DA), a neurotransmitter system that is of exceptional importance for both addictive behaviors and the neuropsychopathology of disorders like schizophrenia. Research in our laboratory has focused on how cannabinoid transmission both within and extrinsic to the mesolimbic DA system, including the BLA → mPFC circuitry, can modulate both rewarding and aversive emotional information. In this review, we will summarize clinical and basic neuroscience research demonstrating the importance of cannabinoid signaling within this neural circuitry. In particular, evidence will be reviewed emphasizing the importance of cannabinoid signaling within the BLA → mPFC circuitry in the context of emotional salience processing, memory formation and memory-related plasticity. We propose that aberrant states of hyper or hypoactive ECB signaling within the amygdala-prefrontal cortical circuit may lead to dysregulation of mesocorticolimbic DA transmission controlling the processing of emotionally salient information. These disturbances may in turn lead to emotional processing
Palma, Kayla Araújo Ximenes Aguiar; Balardin, Joana Bisol; Vedana, Gustavo; de Lima Argimon, Irani Iracema; Luz, Clarice; Schröder, Nadja; Quevedo, João; Bromberg, Elke
This study examined the cortisol secretion pattern and declarative memory performance of dementia caregivers. An illustrated story paradigm memory task was used to evaluate the effects of emotional arousal on memory and assess the caregivers' cognitive compensation capacity. Younger (n=19) and elderly (n=24) noncaregivers and elderly caregivers (n=14) took part in 2 experiments to elucidate the effects of aging (experiment 1) and chronic stress (experiment 2) on memory performance and cortisol levels. Each group was divided in 2 subgroups: one that was exposed to an emotionally neutral story, and one that was exposed to a similar, but emotionally arousing story. Participants completed a multiple-choice questionnaire in the test session. Salivary cortisol samples were collected at 8:00 AM, 4:00 PM, and 10:00 PM, 1 day after memory testing. Experiment 1 showed that, despite an age-related memory deficit, arousal manipulation produced a similar effect in both age groups. Experiment 2 showed that, in addition to the characteristic memory decline of aging, elderly caregivers did not benefit from emotionally arousing material as their noncaregiver counterparts did. This impairment correlated with elevated nighttime cortisol levels, indicating a potential worsening impact of caregiver burden on age-related cognitive decline.
Hess, Thomas M; Popham, Lauren E; Dennis, Paul A; Emery, Lisa
Two experiments examined the impact of encoding conditions and information content in memory for positive, neutral, and negative pictures. We examined the hypotheses that the positivity effect in memory (i.e., a bias in favor of positive or against negative information in later life) would be reduced when (a) pictures were viewed under structured as opposed to unstructured conditions, and (b) contained social as opposed to nonsocial content. Both experiments found that the positivity effect observed with nonsocial stimuli was absent with social stimuli. In addition, little evidence was obtained that encoding conditions affected the strength of the positivity effect. We argue that some types of social stimuli may engage different types of processing than nonsocial stimuli, perhaps encouraging self-referential processing that engages attention and supports memory. This processing may then conflict with the goal-driven, top-down processing that is hypothesized to drive the positivity effect. Thus, our results identify further boundary conditions associated with the positivity effect in memory, arguing that stimulus factors as well as situational goals may affect its occurrence. Further research awaits to determine if this effect is specific to all social stimuli or specific subsets.
Steinmetz, Katherine R. Mickley; Waring, Jill D.; Kensinger, Elizabeth A.
Individuals are more likely to remember emotional than neutral information, but this benefit does not always extend to the surrounding background information. This memory narrowing is theorized to be linked to the availability of attentional resources at encoding. In contrast to the predictions of this theoretical account, altering participants’ attentional resources at encoding, by dividing attention, did not affect the emotion-induced memory narrowing. Attention was divided using three separate manipulations: a digit ordering task (Experiment 1), an arithmetic task (Experiment 2), and an auditory discrimination task (Experiment 3). Across all three experiments, divided attention decreased memory across-the-board but did not affect the degree of memory narrowing. These findings suggest that theories to explain memory narrowing must be expanded to include other potential mechanisms beyond limitations of attentional resources. PMID:24295041
Mickley Steinmetz, Katherine R; Waring, Jill D; Kensinger, Elizabeth A
Individuals are more likely to remember emotional than neutral information, but this benefit does not always extend to the surrounding background information. This memory narrowing is theorised to be linked to the availability of attentional resources at encoding. In contrast to the predictions of this theoretical account, altering participants' attentional resources at encoding by dividing attention did not affect emotion-induced memory narrowing. Attention was divided using three separate manipulations: a digit ordering task (Experiment 1), an arithmetic task (Experiment 2) and an auditory discrimination task (Experiment 3). Across all three experiments, divided attention decreased memory across the board but did not affect the degree of memory narrowing. These findings suggest that theories to explain memory narrowing must be expanded to include other potential mechanisms beyond the limitations of attentional resources.
Grieving is infused by memories and emotions. In this study, bereaved participants recalled either death-related or fond memories of their loved ones. Their emotional arousal was examined via physiologic and voice analytic measures. Both death-related and fond memories generated an acoustic profile indicative of sadness (reflected by voice quality related parameters). Death-related memories, moreover, lead to bodily tension reflected by increased diastolic blood pressure levels and mean fundamental frequency of the voice signal. Consistent with the continuing bond and attachment perspectives, "death," a reminder of the irrevocability of the loss, induced distress/anxiety. In contrast, fond memories lead to more moderate, melancholic sadness, presumably because of their association with the soothing qualities of the attachment figure.
Volokhov, Rachael N.; Demaree, Heath A.
The ability to regulate one's emotions is an integral part of human social behavior. One antecedent emotion regulation strategy, known as reappraisal, is characterized by cognitively evaluating an emotional stimulus to alter its emotional impact and one response-focused strategy, suppression, is aimed at reducing behavioral output. People are…
Yu, Zonghuo; Chen, Li
Whether relative income or absolute income could affect subjective well-being has been a bone of contention for years. Life satisfaction and the relative frequency of positive and negative emotions are parts of subjective well-being. According to the prospect theory, hedonic adaptation helps to explain why positive emotion is often so hard to be maintained, and negative emotion wouldn’t be easy to be eliminated. So we expect the relationship between income and positive emotion is different from that between income and negative emotion. Given that regional reference is the main comparison mechanism, effects of regional average income on regional average subjective well-being should be potentially zero if only relative income matters. Using multilevel analysis, we tested the hypotheses with a dataset of 30,144 individuals from 162 counties in China. The results suggested that household income at the individual level is associated with life satisfaction, happiness and negative emotions. On the contrary, at a county level, household income is only associated with negative emotion. In other words, happiness and life satisfaction was only associated with relative income, but negative emotion was associated with relative income and absolute income. Without social comparison, income doesn’t improve happiness, but it could weaken negative emotion. Therefore, it is possible for economic growth to weaken negative emotion without improving happiness. These findings also contribute to the current debate about the “Esterling paradox.” PMID:28066312
Yu, Zonghuo; Chen, Li
Whether relative income or absolute income could affect subjective well-being has been a bone of contention for years. Life satisfaction and the relative frequency of positive and negative emotions are parts of subjective well-being. According to the prospect theory, hedonic adaptation helps to explain why positive emotion is often so hard to be maintained, and negative emotion wouldn't be easy to be eliminated. So we expect the relationship between income and positive emotion is different from that between income and negative emotion. Given that regional reference is the main comparison mechanism, effects of regional average income on regional average subjective well-being should be potentially zero if only relative income matters. Using multilevel analysis, we tested the hypotheses with a dataset of 30,144 individuals from 162 counties in China. The results suggested that household income at the individual level is associated with life satisfaction, happiness and negative emotions. On the contrary, at a county level, household income is only associated with negative emotion. In other words, happiness and life satisfaction was only associated with relative income, but negative emotion was associated with relative income and absolute income. Without social comparison, income doesn't improve happiness, but it could weaken negative emotion. Therefore, it is possible for economic growth to weaken negative emotion without improving happiness. These findings also contribute to the current debate about the "Esterling paradox."
Li, Zhihao; Coles, Claire D; Lynch, Mary Ellen; Hamann, Stephan; Peltier, Scott; LaConte, Stephen; Hu, Xiaoping
While prenatal cocaine exposure (PCE) has been associated with arousal dysregulation and attentional impairments in both human and animal studies, the neurobiological bases of these teratogenic effects have not been well characterized. In the current study, we report functional neuroimaging observations of these effects in exposed youth. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we embedded task-irrelevant emotional distracters in a working memory task to examine the interaction of emotional arousal and memory in 33 PCE and 23 non-exposed adolescents. Though with similar behavioral performance, the two groups exhibited different activation patterns associated with emotion-memory interactions. On the one hand, higher memory load attenuated emotion-related amygdala activation in controls but not in the exposed adolescents; on the other hand, prefrontal activation associated with memory load decreased in the presence of emotional distraction in the controls but increased in the exposed group. These group interaction differences suggest neurobiological substrates for arousal-associated neuronal alterations related to prenatal cocaine exposure. Consistent with previous findings in behavioral and physiological studies, the present neuroimaging data provided more in-depth evidence supporting the view that PCE has significant long-term teratogenic effect on arousal regulation system.
Li, Zhihao; Coles, Claire D.; Lynch, Mary Ellen; Hamann, Stephan; Peltier, Scott; LaConte, Stephen; Hu, Xiaoping
While prenatal cocaine exposure (PCE) has been associated with arousal dysregulation and attentional impairments in both human and animal studies, the neurobiological bases of these teratogenic effects have not been well characterized. In the current study, we report functional neuroimaging observations of these effects in exposed youth. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we embedded task-irrelevant emotional distracters in a working memory task to examine the interaction of emotional arousal and memory in 33 PCE and 23 non-exposed adolescents. Though with similar behavioral performance, the two groups exhibited different activation patterns associated with emotion-memory interactions. On the one hand, higher memory load attenuated emotion-related amygdala activation in controls but not in the exposed adolescents; on the other hand, prefrontal activation associated with memory load decreased in the presence of emotional distraction in the controls but increased in the exposed group. These group interaction differences suggest neurobiological substrates for arousal-associated neuronal alterations related to prenatal cocaine exposure. Consistent with previous findings in behavioral and physiological studies, the present neuroimaging data provided more in-depth evidence supporting the view that PCE has significant long-term teratogenic effect on arousal regulation system. PMID:19699795
Lindquist, Kristen A; Gendron, Maria; Barrett, Lisa Feldman; Dickerson, Bradford C
For decades, psychologists and neuroscientists have hypothesized that the ability to perceive emotions on others' faces is inborn, prelinguistic, and universal. Concept knowledge about emotion has been assumed to be epiphenomenal to emotion perception. In this article, we report findings from 3 patients with semantic dementia that cannot be explained by this "basic emotion" view. These patients, who have substantial deficits in semantic processing abilities, spontaneously perceived pleasant and unpleasant expressions on faces, but not discrete emotions such as anger, disgust, fear, or sadness, even in a task that did not require the use of emotion words. Our findings support the hypothesis that discrete emotion concept knowledge helps transform perceptions of affect (positively or negatively valenced facial expressions) into perceptions of discrete emotions such as anger, disgust, fear, and sadness. These findings have important consequences for understanding the processes supporting emotion perception.
Background Relative to intentional memory encoding, which quickly declines in Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), incidental memory for emotional stimuli appears to deteriorate more slowly. We hypothesised that tests of incidental emotional memory may inform on different aspects of cognitive decline in MCI and AD. Methods Patients with MCI, AD and Healthy Controls (HC) were asked to attend to emotional pictures (i.e., positive and neutral) sequentially presented during an fMRI session. Attention was monitored behaviourally. A surprise post-scan recognition test was then administered. Results The groups remained attentive within the scanner. The post-scan recognition pattern was in the form of (HC = MCI) > AD, with only the former group showing a clear benefit from emotional pictures. fMRI analysis of incidental encoding demonstrated clusters of activation in para-hippocampal regions and in the hippocampus in HC and MCI patients but not in AD patients. The pattern of activation observed in MCI patients tended to be greater than that found in HC. Conclusions The results suggest that incidental emotional memory might offer a suitable platform to investigate, using behavioural and fMRI measures, subtle changes in the process of developing AD. These changes seem to differ from those found using standard episodic memory tests. The underpinnings of such differences and the potential clinical use of this methodology are discussed in depth. PMID:23497150
Bos, Marieke G N; Jacobs van Goethem, Tessa H; Beckers, Tom; Kindt, Merel
Retrieval of traumatic experiences is often accompanied by strong feelings of distress. Here, we examined in healthy participants whether post-reactivation stress experience affects the context-dependency of emotional memory. First, participants studied words from two distinctive emotional categories (i.e., war and disease) presented against a category-related background picture. One day later, participants returned to the lab and received a reminder of the words of one emotional category followed by exposure to a stress task (Stress group, n=22) or a control task (Control group, n=24). Six days later, memory contextualization was tested using a word stem completion task. Half of the word stems were presented against the encoding context (i.e., congruent context) and the other half of the word stems were presented against the other context (i.e., incongruent context). The results showed that participants recalled more words in the congruent context than in the incongruent context. Interestingly, cortisol mediated the effect of stress exposure on memory contextualization. The stronger the post-reactivation cortisol response, the more memory performance relied on the contextual embedding of the words. Taken together, the current findings suggest that a moderate cortisol response after memory reactivation might serve an adaptive function in preventing generalization of emotional memories over contexts.
Marchewka, Artur; Wypych, Marek; Michałowski, Jarosław M.; Sińczuk, Marcin; Wordecha, Małgorzata; Jednoróg, Katarzyna; Nowicka, Anna
Studies presenting memory-facilitating effect of emotions typically focused on affective dimensions of arousal and valence. Little is known, however, about the extent to which stimulus-driven basic emotions could have distinct effects on memory. In the present paper we sought to examine the modulatory effect of disgust, fear, and sadness on intentional remembering and forgetting using widely used item-method directed forgetting (DF) paradigm. Eighteen women underwent fMRI scanning during encoding phase in which they were asked either to remember (R) or to forget (F) pictures. In the test phase all previously used stimuli were re-presented together with the same number of new pictures and participants had to categorize them as old or new, irrespective of the F/R instruction. On the behavioral level we found a typical DF effect, i.e., higher recognition rates for to-be-remembered (TBR) items than to-be-forgotten (TBF) ones for both neutral and emotional categories. Emotional stimuli had higher recognition rate than neutral ones, while among emotional those eliciting disgust produced highest recognition, but at the same time induced more false alarms. Therefore, when false alarm corrected recognition was examined the DF effect was equally strong irrespective of emotion. Additionally, even though subjects rated disgusting pictures as more arousing and negative than other picture categories, logistic regression on the item level showed that the effect of disgust on recognition memory was stronger than the effect of arousal or valence. On the neural level, ROI analyses (with valence and arousal covariates) revealed that correctly recognized disgusting stimuli evoked the highest activity in the left amygdala compared to all other categories. This structure was also more activated for remembered vs. forgotten stimuli, but only in case of disgust or fear eliciting pictures. Our findings, despite several limitations, suggest that disgust have a special salience in memory
Rimmele, Ulrike; Besedovsky, Luciana; Lange, Tanja; Born, Jan
Cortisol's effects on memory follow an inverted U-shaped function such that memory retrieval is impaired with very low concentrations, presumably due to insufficient activation of high-affine mineralocorticoid receptors (MR), or with very high concentrations, due to predominant low-affine glucocorticoid receptor (GR) activation. Through corresponding changes in re-encoding, the retrieval effect of cortisol might translate into a persistent change of the retrieved memory. We tested whether partial suppression of morning cortisol synthesis by metyrapone, leading to intermediate, circadian nadir-like levels with presumed predominant MR activation, improves retrieval, particularly of emotional memory, and persistently changes the memory. In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, within-subject cross-over design, 18 men were orally administered metyrapone (1g) vs. placebo at 4:00 AM to suppress the morning cortisol rise. Retrieval of emotional and neutral texts and pictures (learned 3 days earlier) was assessed 4h after substance administration and a second time one week later. Metyrapone suppressed endogenous cortisol release to circadian nadir-equivalent levels at the time of retrieval testing. Contrary to our expectations, metyrapone significantly impaired free recall of emotional texts (p<.05), whereas retrieval of neutral texts or pictures remained unaffected. One week later, participants still showed lower memory for emotional texts in the metyrapone than placebo condition (p<.05). Our finding that suppressing morning cortisol to nadir-like concentrations not only impairs acute retrieval, but also persistently weakens emotional memories corroborates the concept that retrieval effects of cortisol produce persistent memory changes, possibly by affecting re-encoding.
Conway, Anne; McDonough, Susan C; Mackenzie, Michael; Miller, Alison; Dayton, Carolyn; Rosenblum, Katherine; Muzik, Maria; Sameroff, Arnold
The ability to self-generate positive emotions is an important component of emotion regulation. In this study, we focus on children's latency to express positive emotions following challenging situations and assess whether this ability operates through early maternal sensitivity and children's effortful control. Longitudinal relations between maternal sensitivity, infant negative affect, effortful control, and latency to positive emotion following challenge were examined in 156 children who were 33 months of age. Structural equation models supported the hypothesis that maternal sensitivity during infancy predicted better effortful control and, in turn, shorter latencies to positive emotions following challenge at 33 months. Directions for future research are discussed.
Cui, Lixia; Shi, Guangyuan; He, Fan; Zhang, Qin; Oei, Tian P. S.; Guo, Chunyan
The interaction between recognition memory and emotion has become a research hotspot in recent years. Dual process theory posits that familiarity and recollection are two separate processes contributing to recognition memory, but further experimental evidence is needed. The present study explored the emotional context effects on successful and unsuccessful source retrieval amongst 15 high-trait-anxiety college students by using event-related potentials (ERPs) measurement. During study, a happy, fearful, or neutral face picture first was displayed, then a Chinese word was superimposed centrally on the picture and subjects were asked to remember the word and the corresponding type of picture. During the test participants were instructed to press one of four buttons to indicate whether the displayed word was an old or new word. And then, for the old word, indicate whether it had been shown with a fearful, happy, or neutral face during the study. ERPs were generally more positive for remembered words than for new words and the ERP difference was termed as an old/new effect. It was found that, for successful source retrieval (it meant both the item and the source were remembered accurately) between 500 and 700 ms (corresponding to a late positive component, LPC), there were significant old/new effects in all contexts. However, for unsuccessful source retrieval (it meant the correct recognition of old items matched with incorrect source attribution), there were no significant old/new effects in happy and neutral contexts, though significant old/new effects were observed in the fearful context. Between 700 and 1200 ms (corresponding to a late slow wave, LSW), there were significant old/new effects for successful source retrieval in happy and neutral contexts. However, in the fearful context, the old/new effects were reversed, ERPs were more negative for successful source retrieval compared to correct rejections. Moreover, there were significant emotion effects for
Luksys, Gediminas; Ackermann, Sandra; Coynel, David; Fastenrath, Matthias; Gschwind, Leo; Heck, Angela; Rasch, Bjoern; Spalek, Klara; Vogler, Christian; Papassotiropoulos, Andreas; de Quervain, Dominique
Memory performance is the result of many distinct mental processes, such as memory encoding, forgetting, and modulation of memory strength by emotional arousal. These processes, which are subserved by partly distinct molecular profiles, are not always amenable to direct observation. Therefore, computational models can be used to make inferences about specific mental processes and to study their genetic underpinnings. Here we combined a computational model-based analysis of memory-related processes with high density genetic information derived from a genome-wide study in healthy young adults. After identifying the best-fitting model for a verbal memory task and estimating the best-fitting individual cognitive parameters, we found a common variant in the gene encoding the brain-specific angiogenesis inhibitor 1-associated protein 2 (BAIAP2) that was related to the model parameter reflecting modulation of verbal memory strength by negative valence. We also observed an association between the same genetic variant and a similar emotional modulation phenotype in a different population performing a picture memory task. Furthermore, using functional neuroimaging we found robust genotype-dependent differences in activity of the parahippocampal cortex that were specifically related to successful memory encoding of negative versus neutral information. Finally, we analyzed cortical gene expression data of 193 deceased subjects and detected significant BAIAP2 genotype-dependent differences in BAIAP2 mRNA levels. Our findings suggest that model-based dissociation of specific cognitive parameters can improve the understanding of genetic underpinnings of human learning and memory.
Howe, Mark L; Toth, Sheree L; Cicchetti, Dante
The authors examined 284 maltreated and nonmaltreated children's (6- to 12-year-olds) ability to inhibit true and false memories for neutral and emotional information using the Deese/Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm. Children studied either emotional or neutral DRM lists in a control condition or were given directed-remembering or directed-forgetting instructions. The findings indicated that children, regardless of age and maltreatment status, could inhibit the output of true and false emotional information, although they did so less effectively than when they were inhibiting the output of neutral material. Verbal IQ was related to memory, but dissociative symptoms were not related to children's recollective ability. These findings add to the growing literature that shows more similarities among, than differences between, maltreated and nonmaltreated children's basic memory processes.
Howe, Mark L.; Toth, Sheree L.; Cicchetti, Dante
The authors examined 284 maltreated and nonmaltreated children’s (6- to 12-year-olds) ability to inhibit true and false memories for neutral and emotional information using the Deese/Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm. Children studied either emotional or neutral DRM lists in a control condition or were given directed-remembering or directed-forgetting instructions. The findings indicated that children, regardless of age and maltreatment status, could inhibit the output of true and false emotional information, although they did so less effectively than when they were inhibiting the output of neutral material. Verbal IQ was related to memory, but dissociative symptoms were not related to children’s recollective ability. These findings add to the growing literature that shows more similarities among, than differences between, maltreated and nonmaltreated children’s basic memory processes. PMID:21428984
Krause-Utz, Annegret; Elzinga, Bernet M.; Oei, Nicole Y. L.; Paret, Christian; Niedtfeld, Inga; Spinhoven, Philip; Bohus, Martin; Schmahl, Christian
Working memory is critically involved in ignoring emotional distraction while maintaining goal-directed behavior. Antagonistic interactions between brain regions implicated in emotion processing, e.g., amygdala, and brain regions involved in cognitive control, e.g., dorsolateral and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dlPFC, dmPFC), may play an important role in coping with emotional distraction. We previously reported prolonged reaction times associated with amygdala hyperreactivity during emotional distraction in interpersonally traumatized borderline personality disorder (BPD) patients compared to healthy controls (HC): Participants performed a working memory task, while neutral versus negative distractors (interpersonal scenes from the International Affective Picture System) were presented. Here, we re-analyzed data from this study using psychophysiological interaction analysis. The bilateral amygdala and bilateral dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) were defined as seed regions of interest. Whole-brain regression analyses with reaction times and self-reported increase of dissociation were performed. During emotional distraction, reduced amygdala connectivity with clusters in the left dorsolateral and ventrolateral PFC was observed in the whole group. Compared to HC, BPD patients showed a stronger coupling of both seeds with a cluster in the right dmPFC and stronger positive amygdala connectivity with bilateral (para)hippocampus. Patients further demonstrated stronger positive dACC connectivity with left posterior cingulate, insula, and frontoparietal regions during emotional distraction. Reaction times positively predicted amygdala connectivity with right dmPFC and (para)hippocampus, while dissociation positively predicted amygdala connectivity with right ACC during emotional distraction in patients. Our findings suggest increased attention to task-irrelevant (emotional) social information during a working memory task in interpersonally traumatized patients
Vermeulen, Marije C M; van der Heijden, Kristiaan B; Benjamins, Jeroen S; Swaab, Hanna; van Someren, Eus J W
Effectiveness of memory consolidation is determined by multiple factors, including sleep after learning, emotional valence, arousal and novelty. Few studies investigated how the effect of sleep compares with (and interacts with) these other factors, of which virtually none are in children. The present study did so by repeated assessment of declarative memory in 386 children (45% boys) aged 9-11 years through an online word-pair task. Children were randomly assigned to either a morning or evening learning session of 30 unrelated word-pairs with positive, neutral or negative valenced cues and neutral targets. After immediately assessing baseline recognition, delayed recognition was recorded either 12 or 24 h later, resulting in four different assessment schedules. One week later, the procedure was repeated with exactly the same word-pairs to evaluate whether effects differed for relearning versus original novel learning. Mixed-effect logistic regression models were used to evaluate how the probability of correct recognition was affected by sleep, valence, arousal, novelty and their interactions. Both immediate and delayed recognition were worse for pairs with negatively valenced or less arousing cue words. Relearning improved immediate and delayed word-pair recognition. In contrast to these effects, sleep did not affect recognition, nor did sleep moderate the effects of arousal, valence and novelty. The findings suggest a robust inclination of children to specifically forget the pairing of words to negatively valenced cue words. In agreement with a recent meta-analysis, children seem to depend less on sleep for the consolidation of information than has been reported for adults, irrespective of the emotional valence, arousal and novelty of word-pairs.
Lindquist, Kristen A.; Gendron, Maria; Feldman Barrett, Lisa; Dickerson, Bradford C.
For decades, psychologists and neuroscientists have hypothesized that the ability to perceive emotions on others’ faces is inborn, pre-linguistic, and universal. Concept knowledge about emotion has been assumed to be epiphenomenal to emotion perception. In this paper, we report findings from three patients with semantic dementia that cannot be explained by this “basic emotion” view. These patients, who have substantial deficits in semantic processing abilities, spontaneously perceived pleasant and unpleasant expressions on faces, but not discrete emotions such as anger, disgust, fear, or sadness, even in a task that did not require the use of emotion words. Our findings support the hypothesis that discrete emotion concept knowledge helps transform perceptions of affect (positively or negatively valenced facial expressions) into perceptions of discrete emotions such as anger, disgust, fear and sadness. These findings have important consequences for understanding the processes supporting emotion perception. PMID:24512242
Briesemeister, Benny B; Kuchinke, Lars; Jacobs, Arthur M; Braun, Mario
The hierarchical emotion model proposed by Panksepp (1998) predicts that affective processing will rely on three functionally and neuroanatomically distinct levels, engaging subcortical networks (primary level), the limbic system (secondary level), and the neocortex (tertiary level). In the present fMRI study, we manipulated happiness and positivity, which are assumed to rely on secondary- and tertiary-level processes, respectively, to test these assumptions in a word recognition task. In accordance with the model predictions, evidence for a double dissociation was found in the brain activation patterns: Secondary-level processes engaged parts of the limbic system-specifically, the right hemispheric amygdala. Tertiary-level processes, in contrast, relied predominantly on frontal neocortical structures such as the left inferior frontal and medial frontal gyri. These results are interpreted as support for Panksepp's (1998) model and as an indicator of a semantic foundation of affective dimensions.
Evans, Ceri; Ehlers, Anke; Mezey, Gillian; Clark, David M.
The authors investigated factors that may determine whether perpetrators of violent crime develop intrusive memories of their offense. Of 105 young offenders who were convicted of killing or seriously harming others, 46% reported distressing intrusive memories, and 6% had posttraumatic stress disorder. Intrusions were associated with lower…
Evans, Jeff; Morgan, Candia; Tsatsaroni, Anna
Our approach to emotion in school mathematics draws on social semiotics, pedagogic discourse theory and psychoanalysis. Emotions are considered as socially organised and shaped by power relations; we portray emotion as a charge (of energy) attached to ideas or signifiers. We analyse transcripts from a small group solving problems in mathematics…
Ackermann, Sandra; Heck, Angela; Rasch, Björn; Papassotiropoulos, Andreas; de Quervain, Dominique J-F
Glucocorticoids, stress hormones released from the adrenal cortex, are important players in the regulation of emotional memory. Specifically, in animals and in humans, glucocorticoids enhance memory consolidation of emotionally arousing experiences, but impair memory retrieval. These glucocorticoid actions are partly mediated by glucocorticoid receptors in the hippocampus, amygdala and prefrontal cortex, key brain regions for emotional memory. In a recent study in patients who underwent cardiac surgery, the BclI polymorphism of the glucocorticoid receptor gene (NR3C1) was associated with traumatic memories and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms after intensive care therapy. Based on this finding, we investigated if the BclI polymorphism is also associated with emotional memory in healthy young subjects (N=841). We used a picture-learning task consisting of learning and recalling neutral and emotional photographs on two consecutive days. The BclI variant was associated with short-delay recall of emotional pictures on both days, with GG carriers showing increased emotional memory performance as compared to GC and CC carriers. We did not detect a genotype-dependent difference in recall performance for neutral pictures. These findings suggest that the Bcll polymorphism contributes to inter-individual differences in emotional memory also in healthy humans.
Cahill, Larry; Uncapher, Melina; Kilpatrick, Lisa; Alkire, Mike T.; Turner, Jessica
The amygdala appears necessary for enhanced long-term memory associated with emotionally arousing events. Recent brain imaging investigations support this view and indicate a sex-related hemispheric lateralization exists in the amygdala relationship to memory for emotional material. This study confirms and further explores this finding. Healthy…
Kanske, Philipp; Kotz, Sonja A
Recent evidence shows that negative emotional stimuli speed up the resolution of conflict between opposing response tendencies. This mechanism ensures rapid reactions in potentially threatening situations. However, it is unclear whether positive emotion has a similar effect on conflict processing. We therefore presented positive emotional words in a version of the flanker conflict task, in which conflict is elicited by incongruent target and flanker stimuli. Response times to incongruent stimuli were shortened in positive words, indicating a speeding up of conflict resolution. We also observed an enlargement of the first conflict-sensitive event-related potential (ERP) of the electroencephalogram, the N200, in positive emotional trials. The data suggest that positive emotion already modulates first stages of conflict processing. The results demonstrate that positive, reward-predicting stimuli influence conflict processing in a similar manner to threat signals. Positive emotion thus reduces the time that an organism is unable to respond due to simultaneously present conflicting action tendencies.
Schall, Marina; Martiny, Sarah E; Goetz, Thomas; Hall, Nathan C
Although expressing positive emotions is typically socially rewarded, in the present work, we predicted that people suppress positive emotions and thereby experience social benefits when outperformed others are present. We tested our predictions in three experimental studies with high school students. In Studies 1 and 2, we manipulated the type of social situation (outperformance vs. non-outperformance) and assessed suppression of positive emotions. In both studies, individuals reported suppressing positive emotions more in outperformance situations than in non-outperformance situations. In Study 3, we manipulated the social situation (outperformance vs. non-outperformance) as well as the videotaped person's expression of positive emotions (suppression vs. expression). The findings showed that when outperforming others, individuals were indeed evaluated more positively when they suppressed rather than expressed their positive emotions, and demonstrate the importance of the specific social situation with respect to the effects of suppression.
van Schie, Kevin; van Veen, Suzanne C.; Engelhard, Iris M.; Klugkist, Irene; van den Hout, Marcel A.
Background In eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), patients make eye movements (EM) while recalling traumatic memories. Making EM taxes working memory (WM), which leaves less resources available for imagery of the memory. This reduces memory vividness and emotionality during future recalls. WM theory predicts that individuals with small working memory capacities (WMCs) benefit more from low levels of taxing (i.e., slow EM) whereas individuals with large WMC benefit more from high levels of taxing (i.e., fast EM). Objective We experimentally examined and tested four prespecified hypotheses regarding the role of WMC and EM speed in reducing emotionality and vividness ratings: 1) EM—regardless of WMC and EM speed—are more effective compared to no dual task, 2) increasing EM speed only affects the decrease in memory ratings irrespective of WMC, 3) low-WMC individuals—compared to high-WMC individuals—benefit more from making either type of EM, 4) the EM intervention is most effective when—as predicted by WM theory—EM are adjusted to WMC. Method Undergraduates with low (n=31) or high (n=35) WMC recalled three emotional memories and rated vividness and emotionality before and after each condition (recall only, recall + slow EM, and recall + fast EM). Results Contrary to the theory, the data do not support the hypothesis that EM speed should be adjusted to WMC (hypothesis 4). However, the data show that a dual task in general is more effective in reducing memory ratings than no dual task (hypothesis 1), and that a more cognitively demanding dual task increases the intervention's effectiveness (hypothesis 2). Conclusions Although adjusting EM speed to an individual's WMC seems a straightforward clinical implication, the data do not show any indication that such a titration is helpful. PMID:27387843
Sturm, Virginia E; Yokoyama, Jennifer S; Eckart, Janet A; Zakrzewski, Jessica; Rosen, Howard J; Miller, Bruce L; Seeley, William W; Levenson, Robert W
Positive emotions foster social relationships and motivate thought and action. Dysregulation of positive emotion may give rise to debilitating clinical symptomatology such as mania, risk-taking, and disinhibition. Neuroanatomically, there is extensive evidence that the left hemisphere of the brain, and the left frontal lobe in particular, plays an important role in positive emotion generation. Although prior studies have found that left frontal injury decreases positive emotion, it is not clear whether selective damage to left frontal emotion regulatory systems can actually increase positive emotion. We measured happiness reactivity in 96 patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), a neurodegenerative disease that targets emotion-relevant neural systems and causes alterations in positive emotion (i.e., euphoria and jocularity), and in 34 healthy controls. Participants watched a film clip designed to elicit happiness and a comparison film clip designed to elicit sadness while their facial behavior, physiological reactivity, and self-reported emotional experience were monitored. Whole-brain voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analyses revealed that atrophy in predominantly left hemisphere fronto-striatal emotion regulation systems including left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, anterior insula, and striatum was associated with greater happiness facial behavior during the film (pFWE < .05). Atrophy in left anterior insula and bilateral frontopolar cortex was also associated with higher cardiovascular reactivity (i.e., heart rate and blood pressure) but not self-reported positive emotional experience during the happy film (p < .005, uncorrected). No regions emerged as being associated with greater sadness reactivity, which suggests that left-lateralized fronto-striatal atrophy is selectively associated with happiness dysregulation. Whereas previous models have proposed that left frontal injury decreases positive emotional responding, we argue that
Wong, Elena; Tschan, Franziska; Messerli, Laurence; Semmer, Norbert K.
Expressing emotions has social functions; it provides information, affects social interactions, and shapes relationships with others. Expressing positive emotions could be a strategic tool for improving goal attainment during social interactions at work. Such effects have been found in research on social contagion, impression management, and emotion work. However, expressing emotions one does not feel entails the risk of being perceived as inauthentic. This risk may well be worth taking when the emotions felt are negative, as expressing negative emotions usually has negative effects. When experiencing positive emotions, however, expressing them authentically promises benefits, and the advantage of amplifying them is not so obvious. We postulated that expressing, and amplifying, positive emotions would foster goal attainment in social interactions at work, particularly when dealing with superiors. Analyses are based on 494 interactions involving the pursuit of a goal by 113 employes. Multilevel analyses, including polynomial analyses, show that authentic display of positive emotions supported goal attainment throughout. However, amplifying felt positive emotions promoted goal attainment only in interactions with superiors, but not with colleagues. Results are discussed with regard to the importance of hierarchy for detecting, and interpreting, signs of strategic display of positive emotions. PMID:23675358
Dennis, Tracy A.; Hajcak, Greg
Background: The ability to modulate emotional responses, or emotion regulation, is a key mechanism in the development of mood disruptions. Detection of a neural marker for emotion regulation thus has the potential to inform early detection and intervention for mood problems. One such neural marker may be the late positive potential (LPP), which is…
Eriksson, T M; Alvarsson, A; Stan, T L; Zhang, X; Hascup, K N; Hascup, E R; Kehr, J; Gerhardt, G A; Warner-Schmidt, J; Arango-Lievano, M; Kaplitt, M G; Ogren, S O; Greengard, P; Svenningsson, P
Cognitive impairments are common in depression and involve dysfunctional serotonin neurotransmission. The 5-HT1B receptor (5-HT(1B)R) regulates serotonin transmission, via presynaptic receptors, but can also affect transmitter release at heterosynaptic sites. This study aimed at investigating the roles of the 5-HT(1B)R, and its adapter protein p11, in emotional memory and object recognition memory processes by the use of p11 knockout (p11KO) mice, a genetic model for aspects of depression-related states. 5-HT(1B)R agonist treatment induced an impairing effect on emotional memory in wild type (WT) mice. In comparison, p11KO mice displayed reduced long-term emotional memory performance. Unexpectedly, 5-HT(1B)R agonist stimulation enhanced memory in p11KO mice, and this atypical switch was reversed after hippocampal adeno-associated virus mediated gene transfer of p11. Notably, 5-HT(1B)R stimulation increased glutamatergic neurotransmission in the hippocampus in p11KO mice, but not in WT mice, as measured by both pre- and postsynaptic criteria. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy demonstrated global hippocampal reductions of inhibitory GABA, which may contribute to the memory enhancement and potentiation of pre- and post-synaptic measures of glutamate transmission by a 5-HT(1B)R agonist in p11KO mice. It is concluded that the level of hippocampal p11 determines the directionality of 5-HT(1B)R action on emotional memory processing and modulates hippocampal functionality. These results emphasize the importance of using relevant disease models when evaluating the role of serotonin neurotransmission in cognitive deficits related to psychiatric disorders.
Nielsen, Shawn E; Ahmed, Imran; Cahill, Larry
Sex differences in emotional memory have received increasing interest over the past decade. However, to date, no work has explored how a postlearning stressor might modulate the influence of sex hormone status on memory for gist and peripheral detail in an emotional versus neutral context. Here, we tested 3 predictions. First, compared with naturally cycling (NC) women in the luteal phase, women on hormonal contraception (HC) would have significantly blunted hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal reactivity to physical stress. Second, postlearning stress would enhance detail and gist memory from an emotional story in NC women, and finally, postlearning stress would not affect emotional memory for details or gist in HC women. Healthy NC and HC women viewed a brief, narrated story containing neutral or emotionally arousing elements. Immediately after, cold pressor stress (CPS) or a control procedure was administered. One week later, participants received a surprise free recall test for story elements. NC women exhibited significantly greater cortisol increases to CPS compared with HC women. NC women who viewed the emotional story and were administered CPS recalled the most peripheral details overall and more gist from the emotional compared with the neutral story. In HC women, however, the postlearning cortisol release did not affect memory for gist or peripheral details from the emotional or neutral story in any way. Additionally, NC and HC women performed similarly on measures of attention and arousal. These findings suggest that in women, postlearning stress differentially affects memory for emotional information depending on their hormonal contraceptive status.
Bongers, Peggy; Jansen, Anita; Houben, Katrijn; Roefs, Anne
For many years, questionnaires have been considered the standard when examining emotional eating behavior. However, recently, some controversy has arisen about these questionnaires, and their usefulness in identifying emotional eaters has been questioned. The current study aimed to investigate the Single Target Implicit Association Test (ST-IAT) as a measure of emotional eating. Two ST-IATs (assessing food-positive and food-negative associations respectively) and the Dutch Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (DEBQ) were compared in undergraduate students. A positive, negative or neutral mood was induced by means of a film clip, and milkshake consumption was measured during and after the mood induction. It was hypothesized that participants with strong emotion-food associations on the ST-IATs (i.e., IAT-emotional eaters) would consume more food in the emotion induction condition corresponding to that emotion, as compared to those with weak emotion-food associations as well as to those in the neutral condition. Participants who scored high on both the positive and negative ST-IATs ate more during a positive mood induction than during a negative mood induction. This effect did not extend to milkshake consumption after the mood induction procedure. In addition, IAT-positive emotional eaters consumed more food than IAT-non-emotional eaters. No effects of the DEBQ on milkshake consumption were found. It is concluded that the ST-IAT has potential as a measure of emotional eating.
Wiesner, Christian D; Pulst, Julika; Krause, Fanny; Elsner, Marike; Baving, Lioba; Pedersen, Anya; Prehn-Kristensen, Alexander; Göder, Robert
Emotion boosts the consolidation of events in the declarative memory system. Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is believed to foster the memory consolidation of emotional events. On the other hand, REM sleep is assumed to reduce the emotional tone of the memory. Here, we investigated the effect of selective REM-sleep deprivation, SWS deprivation, or wake on the affective evaluation and consolidation of emotional and neutral pictures. Prior to an 9-h retention interval, sixty-two healthy participants (23.5 ± 2.5 years, 32 female, 30 male) learned and rated their affect to 80 neutral and 80 emotionally negative pictures. Despite rigorous deprivation of REM sleep or SWS, the residual sleep fostered the consolidation of neutral and negative pictures. Furthermore, emotional arousal helped to memorize the pictures. The better consolidation of negative pictures compared to neutral ones was most pronounced in the SWS-deprived group where a normal amount of REM sleep was present. This emotional memory bias correlated with REM sleep only in the SWS-deprived group. Furthermore, emotional arousal to the pictures decreased over time, but neither sleep nor wake had any differential effect. Neither the comparison of the affective ratings (arousal, valence) during encoding and recognition, nor the affective ratings of the recognized targets and rejected distractors supported the hypothesis that REM sleep dampens the emotional reaction to remembered stimuli. The data suggest that REM sleep fosters the consolidation of emotional memories but has no effect on the affective evaluation of the remembered contents.
Knowledge of emotion situations facilitates the interpretation, processing, and organization of significant personal event information and thus may be an important contributor to the development of autobiographical memory. This longitudinal study tested the hypothesis in a cross-cultural context. The participants were native Chinese children,…
Kensinger, Elizabeth A.; Choi, Elizabeth S.
Previous studies have shown that the right hemisphere processes the visual details of objects and the emotionality of information. These two roles of the right hemisphere have not been examined concurrently. In the present study, the authors examined whether right hemisphere processing would lead to particularly good memory for the visual details…
Roughan, Laura; Hadwin, Julie A.
This study examined the impact of a working memory (WM) training programme on measures of WM, IQ, behavioural inhibition, self-report test and trait anxiety and teacher reported emotional and behavioural difficulties and attentional control before and after WM training and at a 3 month follow-up. The WM training group (N = 7) showed significantly…
Weigand, Anne; Grimm, Simone; Astalosch, Antje; Guo, Jia Shen; Briesemeister, Benny B; Lisanby, Sarah H; Luber, Bruce; Bajbouj, Malek
Little is known about the neural correlates underlying the integration of working memory and emotion processing. We investigated the effects of low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) applied over the left or right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) on emotional working memory. In a sham-controlled crossover design, participants performed an emotional 3-back task (EMOBACK) at baseline and after stimulation (1 Hz, 15 min, 110 % of the resting motor threshold) in two subsequent sessions. Stimuli were words assigned to the distinct emotion categories fear and anger as well as neutral words. We found lateralized rTMS effects in the EMOBACK task accuracy for fear-related words, with enhanced performance after rTMS applied over the right DLPFC and impaired performance after rTMS applied over the left DLPFC. No significant stimulation effect could be found for anger-related and neutral words. Our findings are the first to demonstrate a causal role of the right DLPFC in working memory for negative, withdrawal-related words and provide further support for a hemispheric lateralization of emotion processing.
Shigemune, Yayoi; Abe, Nobuhito; Suzuki, Maki; Ueno, Aya; Mori, Etsuro; Tashiro, Manabu; Itoh, Masatoshi; Fujii, Toshikatsu
It is known that emotion and reward motivation promote long-term memory formation. It remains unclear, however, how and where emotion and reward are integrated during episodic memory encoding. In the present study, subjects were engaged in intentional encoding of photographs under four different conditions that were made by combining two factors (emotional valence, negative or neutral; and monetary reward value, high or low for subsequent successful recognition) during H2 15O positron emission tomography (PET) scanning. As for recognition performance, we found significant main effects of emotional valence (negative>neutral) and reward value (high value>low value), without an interaction between the two factors. Imaging data showed that the left amygdala was activated during the encoding conditions of negative pictures relative to neutral pictures, and the left orbitofrontal cortex was activated during the encoding conditions of high reward pictures relative to low reward pictures. In addition, conjunction analysis of these two main effects detected right hippocampal activation. Although we could not find correlations between recognition performance and activity of these three regions, we speculate that the right hippocampus may integrate the effects of emotion (processed in the amygdala) and monetary reward (processed in the orbitofrontal cortex) on episodic memory encoding.
Van Cappellen, Patty; Saroglou, Vassilis; Iweins, Caroline; Piovesana, Maria; Fredrickson, Barbara L
Spirituality has mostly been studied in psychology as implied in the process of overcoming adversity, being triggered by negative experiences, and providing positive outcomes. By reversing this pathway, we investigated whether spirituality may also be triggered by self-transcendent positive emotions, which are elicited by stimuli appraised as demonstrating higher good and beauty. In two studies, elevation and/or admiration were induced using different methods. These emotions were compared to two control groups, a neutral state and a positive emotion (mirth). Self-transcendent positive emotions increased participants' spirituality (Studies 1 and 2), especially for the non-religious participants (Study 1). Two basic world assumptions, i.e., belief in life as meaningful (Study 1) and in the benevolence of others and the world (Study 2) mediated the effect of these emotions on spirituality. Spirituality should be understood not only as a coping strategy, but also as an upward spiralling pathway to and from self-transcendent positive emotions.
Miyamoto, Yuri; Uchida, Yukiko; Ellsworth, Phoebe C
Previous cross-cultural comparisons of correlations between positive and negative emotions found that East Asians are more likely than Americans to feel dialectical emotions. However, not much is known about the co-occurrence of positive and negative emotions in a given situation. When asked to describe situations in which they felt mixed emotions, Japanese and American respondents listed mostly similar situations. By presenting these situations to another group of respondents, we found that Japanese reported more mixed emotions than Americans in the predominantly pleasant situations, whereas there were no cultural differences in mixed emotions in the predominantly unpleasant situations or the mixed situations. The appraisal of self-agency mediated cultural differences in mixed emotions in the predominantly pleasant situations. Study 2 replicated the findings by asking participants to recall how they felt in their past pleasant, unpleasant, and mixed situations. The findings suggest that both Americans and Japanese feel mixed emotions, but the kinds of situation in which they typically do so depends on culture.
Laukka, Petri; Elfenbein, Hillary Anger; Söder, Nela; Nordström, Henrik; Althoff, Jean; Chui, Wanda; Iraki, Frederick K.; Rockstuhl, Thomas; Thingujam, Nutankumar S.
Which emotions are associated with universally recognized non-verbal signals?We address this issue by examining how reliably non-linguistic vocalizations (affect bursts) can convey emotions across cultures. Actors from India, Kenya, Singapore, and USA were instructed to produce vocalizations that would convey nine positive and nine negative emotions to listeners. The vocalizations were judged by Swedish listeners using a within-valence forced-choice procedure, where positive and negative emotions were judged in separate experiments. Results showed that listeners could recognize a wide range of positive and negative emotions with accuracy above chance. For positive emotions, we observed the highest recognition rates for relief, followed by lust, interest, serenity and positive surprise, with affection and pride receiving the lowest recognition rates. Anger, disgust, fear, sadness, and negative surprise received the highest recognition rates for negative emotions, with the lowest rates observed for guilt and shame. By way of summary, results showed that the voice can reveal both basic emotions and several positive emotions other than happiness across cultures, but self-conscious emotions such as guilt, pride, and shame seem not to be well recognized from non-linguistic vocalizations. PMID:23914178
Oriol, Xavier; Amutio, Alberto; Mendoza, Michelle; Da Costa, Silvia; Miranda, Rafael
Objective: Emotional creativity (EC) implies experiencing a complex emotional life, which is becoming increasingly necessary in societies that demand innovation and constant changes. This research studies the relation of EC as a dispositional trait with intrinsic motivation (IM) and academic engagement (AE). Methods: A sample of 428 university Chilean students, 36.5% men and 63.5% women, with ages from 18 to 45 years-old (M = 20.37; DT = 2.71). Additionally, the mediating function of class-related positive emotions in this relation is explored. Results: The obtained data indicate that developing high levels of dispositional EC enhances the activation of positive emotions, such as gratitude, love and hope, in the classroom. Furthermore, EC predicts IM and AE of university students by the experience of positive emotions. Conclusion: These results compel us to be aware of the importance that university students can understand the complexity of the emotional processes they undergo. A greater control of these emotions would allow students to maintain higher levels of interest in their studies at the different educational stages and to avoid the risk of school failure. PMID:27610091
Cona, Giorgia; Kliegel, Matthias; Bisiacchi, Patrizia S.
So far, little is known about the neurocognitive mechanisms associated with emotion effects on prospective memory (PM) performance. Thus, this study aimed at disentangling possible mechanisms for the effects of emotional valence of PM cues on the distinct phases composing PM by investigating event-related potentials (ERPs). Participants were engaged in an ongoing N-back task while being required to perform a PM task. The emotional valence of both the ongoing pictures and the PM cues was manipulated (pleasant, neutral, unpleasant). ERPs were recorded during the PM phases, such as encoding, maintenance, and retrieval of the intention. A recognition task including PM cues and ongoing stimuli was also performed at the end of the sessions. ERP results suggest that emotional PM cues not only trigger an automatic, bottom-up, capture of attention, but also boost a greater allocation of top-down processes. These processes seem to be recruited to hold attention toward the emotional stimuli and to retrieve the intention from memory, likely because of the motivational significance of the emotional stimuli. Moreover, pleasant PM cues seemed to modulate especially the prospective component, as revealed by changes in the amplitude of the ERP correlates of strategic monitoring as a function of the relevance of the valence for the PM task. Unpleasant pictures seemed to modulate especially the retrospective component, as revealed by the largest old/new effect being elicited by unpleasant PM pictures in the recognition task. PMID:25674061
Deliens, Gaétane; Neu, Daniel; Peigneux, Philippe
Sleep unbinds memories from their emotional learning context, protecting them from emotional interference due to a change of mood between learning and recall. According to the 'sleep to forget and sleep to remember' model, emotional unbinding takes place during rapid eye movement sleep. To test this hypothesis, we investigated emotional contextual interference effects after early versus late post-learning sleep periods, in which slow wave and rapid eye movement sleep, respectively, predominate. Participants learned a list of neutral word pairs after induction of a happy or a sad mood, then slept immediately afterwards for 3 h of early or late sleep under polysomnographic recording, in a within-subject counterbalanced design. They slept for 3 h before learning in the late sleep condition. Polysomnographic data confirmed more rapid eye movement sleep in the late than in the early sleep condition. After awakening, half the list was recalled after induction of a similar mood than during the encoding session (non-interference condition), and the other half of the list was recalled after induction of a different mood (interference condition). The results disclosed an emotional interference effect on recall both in the early and late sleep conditions, which does not corroborate the hypothesis of a rapid eye movement sleep-related protection of recent memories from emotional contextual interference. Alternatively, the contextual demodulation process initiated during the first post-learning night might need several consecutive nights of sleep to be achieved.
Grol, Maud; Vingerhoets, Guy; De Raedt, Rudi
Imagery perspective can influence what information is recalled, processing style, and emotionality; however, the understanding of possible mechanisms mediating these observed differences is still limited. We aimed to examine differences between memory recall from a field perspective and observer perspective at the neurobiological level, in order to improve our understanding of what is underlying the observed differences at the behavioral level. We conducted a fMRI study in healthy individuals, comparing imagery perspectives during recall of neutral and positive autobiographical memories. Behavioral results revealed field perspective imagery of positive memories, as compared to observer perspective, to be associated with more positive feelings afterwards. At the neurobiological level, contrasting observer perspective to field perspective imagery was associated with greater activity, or less decrease relative to the control visual search task, in the right precuneus and in the right temporoparietal junction (TPJ). Greater activity in the right TPJ during an observer perspective as compared to field perspective could reflect performing a greater shift of perspective and mental state during observer perspective imagery than field perspective imagery. Differential activity in the precuneus may reflect that during observer perspective imagery individuals are more likely to engage in (self-) evaluative processing and visuospatial processing. Our findings contribute to a growing understanding of how imagery perspective can influence the type of information that is recalled and the intensity of the emotional response. Observer perspective imagery may not automatically reduce emotional intensity but this could depend on how the imagined situation is evaluated in relation to the self-concept.
van Marle, Hein J F; Hermans, Erno J; Qin, Shaozheng; Overeem, Sebastiaan; Fernández, Guillén
A host of animal work demonstrates that the retention benefit for emotionally aversive over neutral memories is regulated by glucocorticoid action during memory consolidation. Particularly, glucocorticoids may affect systems-level processes that promote the gradual reorganization of emotional memory traces. These effects remain largely uninvestigated in humans. Therefore, in this functional magnetic resonance imaging study we administered hydrocortisone during a polysomnographically monitored night of sleep directly after healthy volunteers studied negative and neutral pictures in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, between-subjects design. The following evening memory consolidation was probed during a recognition memory test in the MR scanner by assessing the difference in brain activity associated with memory for the consolidated items studied before sleep and new, unconsolidated items studied shortly before test (remote vs. recent memory paradigm). Hydrocortisone administration resulted in elevated cortisol levels throughout the experimental night with no group difference at recent encoding or test. Behaviorally, we showed that cortisol enhanced the difference between emotional and neutral consolidated memory, effectively prioritizing emotional memory consolidation. On a neural level, we found that cortisol reduced amygdala reactivity related to the retrieval of these same consolidated, negative items. These findings show that cortisol administration during first post-encoding sleep had a twofold effect on the first 24h of emotional memory consolidation. While cortisol prioritized recognition memory for emotional items, it reduced reactivation of the neural circuitry underlying emotional responsiveness during retrieval. These findings fit recent theories on emotional depotentiation following consolidation during sleep, although future research should establish the sleep-dependence of this effect. Moreover, our data may shed light on mechanisms underlying
Woudstra, Saskia; van Tol, Marie-José; Bochdanovits, Zoltán; van der Wee, Nic J.; Zitman, Frans G.; van Buchem, Mark A.; Opmeer, Esther M.; Aleman, André; Penninx, Brenda W.; Veltman, Dick J.; Hoogendijk, Witte J.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) has been associated with biased memory formation for mood-congruent information, which may be related to altered monoamine levels. The piccolo (PCLO) gene, involved in monoaminergic neurotransmission, has previously been linked to depression in a genome-wide association study. Here, we investigated the role of the PCLO risk allele on functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) correlates of emotional memory in a sample of 89 MDD patients (64 PCLO risk allele carriers) and 29 healthy controls (18 PCLO risk allele carriers). During negative word encoding, risk allele carriers showed significant lower activity relative to non-risk allele carriers in the insula, and trend-wise in the anterior cingulate cortex and inferior frontal gyrus. Moreover, depressed risk allele carriers showed significant lower activity relative to non-risk allele carriers in the striatum, an effect which was absent in healthy controls. Finally, amygdalar response during processing new positive words vs. known words was blunted in healthy PCLO+ carriers and in MDD patients irrespective of genotype, which may indicate that signalling of salient novel information does not occur to the same extent in PCLO+ carriers and MDD patients. The PCLO risk allele may increase vulnerability for MDD by modulating local brain function with regard to responsiveness to salient stimuli (i.e. insula) and processing novel negative information. Also, depression-specific effects of PCLO on dorsal striatal activation during negative word encoding and the absence of amygdalar salience signalling for novel positive information further suggest a role of PCLO in symptom maintenance in MDD. PMID:23620758
Faehling, Florian; Plewnia, Christian
Cognitive control of emotional processing is essential for adaptive human behavior. Biased attention toward emotionally salient information is critically linked with affective disorders and is discussed as a promising treatment target. Anodal (activity enhancing) transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been shown to increase healthy and impaired cognitive control over emotional distraction and is therefore widely used for the investigation and experimental treatment of this disorder. In this study, event-related potential (ERP) were recorded parallel to tDCS to track its online effects. Healthy volunteers (n = 87) performed a delayed working memory paradigm with emotional salient and neutral distractors during stimulation with different intensities (sham, 0.5, 1, 1.5 mA). Measuring the late positive potential (LPP), an ERP that indexes attention allocation, we found that a valence-specific increase of the early portion of the LPP (eLPP, 250-500 ms) was associated with less emotional distraction in the sham group. Of note, stimulation with tDCS exerted an intensity related effect on this correlation. The later part of the LPP (lLPP, 500-1000 ms) was found to be correlated with reaction time, regardless of valence. General effect of tDCS on LPPs and task performance were not observed. These findings demonstrate that ERP recordings parallel to tDCS are feasible to investigate the neuronal underpinnings of stimulation effects on executive functions. Furthermore, they support the notion that the LPP induced by a distractive stimulus during a working memory task mirrors the additional allocation of neuronal resources with a specific sensitivity of the early LPP for highly arousing negative stimuli. Finally, together with the variable magnitude and direction of the emotional bias, the lack of systematic modulations of LPPs and behavior by tDCS further underlines the important influence of the individual brain activity patterns on stimulation effects both on the
Shiota, Michelle N; Levenson, Robert W
Cognitive reappraisal, or changing one's interpretation of an event in order to alter the emotional response to it, is thought to be a healthy and an effective emotion regulation strategy. Although researchers recognize several distinct varieties of reappraisal, few studies have explicitly compared the effects of multiple reappraisal strategies on emotional responding. The present study compares the effects of detached and positive reappraisal on thought content, subjective emotional experience, physiological reactivity, and facial expressions of emotion while viewing film clips evoking sadness and disgust. Although both forms of reappraisal reduced overall emotional responding to unpleasant stimuli, the effects of detached reappraisal were stronger in this regard, and positive reappraisal was more likely to maintain subjective experience and facial expression of stimulus-appropriate positive emotions. The two reappraisal strategies also produced somewhat different profiles of physiological responding. Differences between detached and positive reappraisal with respect to subjective experience and facial expression were more pronounced among men than women; the reverse was true for differences with respect to physiological responding. Beyond these effects on individual emotion response systems, detached and positive reappraisal also had somewhat different effects on coherence in change across response systems. Implications for our understanding of emotion regulation processes, and for emotion theory more broadly, are discussed.
Morena, Maria; Roozendaal, Benno; Trezza, Viviana; Ratano, Patrizia; Peloso, Andrea; Hauer, Daniela; Atsak, Piray; Trabace, Luigia; Cuomo, Vincenzo; McGaugh, James L; Schelling, Gustav; Campolongo, Patrizia
Previous studies have provided extensive evidence that administration of cannabinoid drugs after training modulates the consolidation of memory for an aversive experience. The present experiments investigated whether the memory consolidation is regulated by endogenously released cannabinoids. The experiments first examined whether the endocannabinoids anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) are released by aversive training. Inhibitory avoidance training with higher footshock intensity produced increased levels of AEA in the amygdala, hippocampus, and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) shortly after training in comparison with levels assessed in rats trained with lower footshock intensity or unshocked controls exposed only to the training apparatus. In contrast, 2-AG levels were not significantly elevated. The additional finding that posttraining infusions of the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor URB597, which selectively increases AEA levels at active synapses, administered into the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA), hippocampus, or mPFC enhanced memory strongly suggests that the endogenously released AEA modulates memory consolidation. Moreover, in support of the view that this emotional training-associated increase in endocannabinoid neurotransmission, and its effects on memory enhancement, depends on the integrity of functional interactions between these different brain regions, we found that disruption of BLA activity blocked the training-induced increases in AEA levels as well as the memory enhancement produced by URB597 administered into the hippocampus or mPFC. Thus, the findings provide evidence that emotionally arousing training increases AEA levels within prefrontal-limbic circuits and strongly suggest that this cannabinoid activation regulates emotional arousal effects on memory consolidation.
Gagnon, Amy G.
Creating a positive social-emotional climate must be the backbone of a quality elementary physical education program. The need to belong, have friends, and feel emotionally safe are basic needs everyone has, but meeting these needs in the classroom can be challenging at times. Strategies regarding how to implement a positive social-emotional…
The classroom environment is an important aspect of classroom management that concerns many teachers. Properly engaging students in the classroom can foster a positive environment. This study examines social and emotional needs of students and its implications in developing a positive classroom. How can meeting social and emotional needs of…
Simione, Luca; Calabrese, Lucia; Marucci, Francesco S.; Belardinelli, Marta Olivetti; Raffone, Antonino; Maratos, Frances A.
A plethora of research demonstrates that the processing of emotional faces is prioritised over non-emotive stimuli when cognitive resources are limited (this is known as ‘emotional superiority’). However, there is debate as to whether competition for processing resources results in emotional superiority per se, or more specifically, threat superiority. Therefore, to investigate prioritisation of emotional stimuli for storage in visual short-term memory (VSTM), we devised an original VSTM report procedure using schematic (angry, happy, neutral) faces in which processing competition was manipulated. In Experiment 1, display exposure time was manipulated to create competition between stimuli. Participants (n = 20) had to recall a probed stimulus from a set size of four under high (150 ms array exposure duration) and low (400 ms array exposure duration) perceptual processing competition. For the high competition condition (i.e. 150 ms exposure), results revealed an emotional superiority effect per se. In Experiment 2 (n = 20), we increased competition by manipulating set size (three versus five stimuli), whilst maintaining a constrained array exposure duration of 150 ms. Here, for the five-stimulus set size (i.e. maximal competition) only threat superiority emerged. These findings demonstrate attentional prioritisation for storage in VSTM for emotional faces. We argue that task demands modulated the availability of processing resources and consequently the relative magnitude of the emotional/threat superiority effect, with only threatening stimuli prioritised for storage in VSTM under more demanding processing conditions. Our results are discussed in light of models and theories of visual selection, and not only combine the two strands of research (i.e. visual selection and emotion), but highlight a critical factor in the processing of emotional stimuli is availability of processing resources, which is further constrained by task demands. PMID:24788385
Strauss, Gregory P.; Lee, Bern G.; Waltz, James A.; Robinson, Benjamin M.; Brown, Jaime K.; Gold, James M.
Prior research provides evidence for aberrant cognition-emotion interactions in schizophrenia. In the current study, we aimed to extend these findings by administering the “distractor devaluation” task to 40 individuals with schizophrenia and 32 demographically matched healthy controls. The task consisted of a simple visual search task for neutral faces, followed by an evaluative response made for one of the search items (or a novel item) to determine whether prior attentional selection results in a devaluation of a previously unattended stimulus. We also manipulated working memory demands by preceding the search array with a memory array that required subjects to hold 0, 1, or 2 items in working memory while performing the search array and devaluation task, to determine whether the normative process by which attentional states influence evaluative response is limited by working memory capacity. Results indicated that individuals with schizophrenia demonstrated the typical distractor devaluation effect at working memory load 0, suggesting intact evaluative response. However, the devaluation effect was absent at working memory loads of 1 and 2, suggesting that normal evaluative responses can be abolished in people with schizophrenia when working memory capacity is exceeded. Thus, findings provide further evidence for normal evaluative response in schizophrenia, but clarify that these normal experiences may not hold when working memory demands are too high. PMID:22968207
van Ast, Vanessa A; Cornelisse, Sandra; Marin, Marie-France; Ackermann, Sandra; Garfinkel, Sarah N; Abercrombie, Heather C
It has long been known that cortisol affects learning and memory processes. Despite a wealth of research dedicated to cortisol effects on learning and memory, the strength or even directionality of the effects often vary. A number of the factors that alter cortisol's effects on learning and memory are well-known. For instance, effects of cortisol can be modulated by emotional arousal and the memory phase under study. Despite great advances in understanding factors that explain variability in cortisol's effects, additional modulators of cortisol effects on memory exist that are less widely acknowledged in current basic experimental research. The goal of the current review is to disseminate knowledge regarding less well-known modulators of cortisol effects on learning and memory. Since several models for the etiology of anxiety, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), incorporate stress and the concomitant release of cortisol as important vulnerability factors, enhanced understanding of mechanisms by which cortisol exerts beneficial as opposed to detrimental effects on memory is very important. Further elucidation of the factors that modulate (or alter) cortisol's effects on memory will allow reconciliation of seemingly inconsistent findings in the basic and clinical literatures. The present review is based on a symposium as part of the 42nd International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology Conference, New York, USA, that highlighted some of those modulators and their underlying mechanisms.
Buchanan, Tony W; Tranel, Daniel
In some situations, memory is enhanced by stressful experience, while in others, it is impaired. The specific components of the stress-response that may result in these differing effects remain unclear, and the current study sought to address this knowledge gap. Forty healthy participants (20 women, 20 men) were exposed to emotionally arousing and neutral pictures. Twenty-four hours later, 20 participants underwent a social stressor (speech and math tests), and 20 underwent a control reading task, both followed by a delayed free recall task. Cortisol responders to the stress condition (5 men and 1 woman) showed reduced memory retrieval for both neutral and emotionally arousing pictures. Men and women in the stress condition who did not produce a cortisol response showed increased retrieval of unpleasant pictures compared to controls. The results provide further evidence that cortisol is a primary effector in the stress-induced memory retrieval deficit. At the same time, stress can enhance memory retrieval performance, especially for emotional stimuli, when the cortisol response is absent.
de Voogd, Lycia D; Fernández, Guillén; Hermans, Erno J
Emotionally arousing experiences are typically well remembered not only due to immediate effects at encoding, but also through further strengthening of subsequent consolidation processes. A large body of research shows how neuromodulatory systems promote synaptic consolidation. However, how emotionally arousing experiences alter systems-level interactions, presumably a consequence of modifications at a synaptic level, remains unclear. Animal models predict that memory traces are maintained by spontaneous reactivations across hippocampal-neocortical circuits during "offline" periods such as post-learning rest, and suggest this might be stronger for emotional memories. The present study was designed to test this hypothesis in humans using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Participants underwent a two-category localizer paradigm followed by a categorical differential delay fear conditioning paradigm interleaved with blocks of awake rest. Counterbalanced across participants, exemplars of one category (CS+), but not the other (CS-), were paired with mild electrical shocks. Fear recall (differential conditioned pupil dilation) was tested 24h later. Analyses of the localizer paradigm replicate earlier work showing category-specific response patterns in neocortical higher-order visual regions. Critically, we show that during post-learning rest, spontaneous reactivation of these neocortical patterns was stronger for the CS+ than the CS- category. Furthermore, hippocampal connectivity with the regions exhibiting these reactivations predicted strength of fear recall 24h later. We conclude that emotional arousal during learning promotes spontaneous post-learning reactivation of neocortical representations of recent experiences, which leads to better memory when coinciding with hippocampal connectivity. Our findings reveal a systems-level mechanism that may explain the persistence of long-term memory for emotional experiences.
Marchewka, Artur; Wypych, Marek; Moslehi, Abnoos; Riegel, Monika; Michałowski, Jarosław M.; Jednoróg, Katarzyna
Emotion can influence various cognitive processes, however its impact on memory has been traditionally studied over relatively short retention periods and in line with dimensional models of affect. The present study aimed to investigate emotional effects on long-term recognition memory according to a combined framework of affective dimensions and basic emotions. Images selected from the Nencki Affective Picture System were rated on the scale of affective dimensions and basic emotions. After 6 months, subjects took part in a surprise recognition test during an fMRI session. The more negative the pictures the better they were remembered, but also the more false recognitions they provoked. Similar effects were found for the arousal dimension. Recognition success was greater for pictures with lower intensity of happiness and with higher intensity of surprise, sadness, fear, and disgust. Consecutive fMRI analyses showed a significant activation for remembered (recognized) vs. forgotten (not recognized) images in anterior cingulate and bilateral anterior insula as well as in bilateral caudate nuclei and right thalamus. Further, arousal was found to be the only subjective rating significantly modulating brain activation. Higher subjective arousal evoked higher activation associated with memory recognition in the right caudate and the left cingulate gyrus. Notably, no significant modulation was observed for other subjective ratings, including basic emotion intensities. These results emphasize the crucial role of arousal for long-term recognition memory and support the hypothesis that the memorized material, over time, becomes stored in a distributed cortical network including the core salience network and basal ganglia. PMID:27818626
Fredrickson, Barbara L; Cohn, Michael A; Coffey, Kimberly A; Pek, Jolynn; Finkel, Sandra M
B. L. Fredrickson's (1998, 2001) broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions asserts that people's daily experiences of positive emotions compound over time to build a variety of consequential personal resources. The authors tested this build hypothesis in a field experiment with working adults (n = 139), half of whom were randomly-assigned to begin a practice of loving-kindness meditation. Results showed that this meditation practice produced increases over time in daily experiences of positive emotions, which, in turn, produced increases in a wide range of personal resources (e.g., increased mindfulness, purpose in life, social support, decreased illness symptoms). In turn, these increments in personal resources predicted increased life satisfaction and reduced depressive symptoms. Discussion centers on how positive emotions are the mechanism of change for the type of mind-training practice studied here and how loving-kindness meditation is an intervention strategy that produces positive emotions in a way that outpaces the hedonic treadmill effect.
Light, Sharee N.; Coan, James A.; Zahn-Waxler, Carolyn; Frye, Corrina; Goldsmith, H. Hill; Davidson, Richard J.
Empathy is the combined ability to interpret the emotional states of others and experience resultant, related emotions. The relation between prefrontal electroencephalographic asymmetry and emotion in infants and children is well known. The relationship between positive emotion (assessed via parent-report), empathy (measured via observation) and second-by-second brain electrical activity (recorded during a pleasurable task) was investigated using a sample of 128 six to ten year olds. Contentment predicted increasing left-sided frontopolar activation (p<.05). Empathic concern and one form of positive empathy predicted increasing right-sided frontopolar activation (ps<.05). A second form of positive empathy predicted increasing left-sided dorsolateral activation (p<.05). This suggests that positive emotion and (negative and positive) empathy predict changes in prefrontal activity in children during a pleasurable task. PMID:19630903
Wagner, Ullrich; Gais, Steffen; Born, Jan
Recent studies indicated a selective activation during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep of the amygdala known to play a decisive role in the processing of emotional stimuli. This study compared memory retention of emotional versus neutral text material over intervals covering either early sleep known to be dominated by nonREM slow wave sleep (SWS) or late sleep, in which REM sleep is dominant. Two groups of men were tested across 3-h periods of early and late sleep (sleep group) or corresponding retention intervals filled with wakefulness (wake group). Sleep was recorded polysomnographically. Cortisol concentrations in saliva were monitored at acquisition and retrieval testing. As expected, the amount of REM sleep was about three times greater during late than during early retention sleep, whereas a reversed pattern was observed for SWS distribution (P < 0.001). Sleep improved retention, compared with the effects of wake intervals (P < 0.02). However, this effect was substantial only in the late night (P < 0.005), during which retention was generally worse than during the early night (P < 0.02). Late sleep particularly enhanced memory for emotional texts. This effect was highly significant in comparison with memory for neutral texts (P < 0.01) and in comparison with memory after late and early wake intervals (P < 0.001). Cortisol concentration differed between early and late retention intervals but not between sleep and wake conditions. Results are consonant with a supportive function of REM sleep predominating late sleep for the formation of emotional memory in humans. PMID:11274257
Hermans, Erno J; Battaglia, Francesco P; Atsak, Piray; de Voogd, Lycia D; Fernández, Guillén; Roozendaal, Benno
The amygdala has long been known to play a key role in supporting memory for emotionally arousing experiences. For example, classical fear conditioning depends on neural plasticity within this anterior medial temporal lobe region. Beneficial effects of emotional arousal on memory, however, are not restricted to simple associative learning. Our recollection of emotional experiences often includes rich representations of, e.g., spatiotemporal context, visceral states, and stimulus-response associations. Critically, such memory features are known to bear heavily on regions elsewhere in the brain. These observations led to the modulation account of amygdala function, which postulates that amygdala activation enhances memory consolidation by facilitating neural plasticity and information storage processes in its target regions. Rodent work in past decades has identified the most important brain regions and neurochemical processes involved in these modulatory actions, and neuropsychological and neuroimaging work in humans has produced a large body of convergent data. Importantly, recent methodological developments make it increasingly realistic to monitor neural interactions underlying such modulatory effects as they unfold. For instance, functional connectivity network modeling in humans has demonstrated how information exchanges between the amygdala and specific target regions occur within the context of large-scale neural network interactions. Furthermore, electrophysiological and optogenetic techniques in rodents are beginning to make it possible to quantify and even manipulate such interactions with millisecond precision. In this paper we will discuss that these developments will likely lead to an updated view of the amygdala as a critical nexus within large-scale networks supporting different aspects of memory processing for emotionally arousing experiences.
Era, Vanessa; Candidi, Matteo; Aglioti, Salvatore Maria
Emotions have a profound influence on aesthetic experiences. Studies using affective priming procedures demonstrate, for example, that inducing a conscious negative emotional state biases the perception of abstract stimuli towards the sublime (Eskine et al. Emotion 12:1071-1074, 2012. doi: 10.1037/a0027200). Moreover, subliminal happy facial expressions have a positive impact on the aesthetic evaluation of abstract art (Flexas et al. PLoS ONE 8:e80154, 2013). Little is known about how emotion influences aesthetic perception of non-abstract, representational stimuli, especially those that are particularly relevant for social behaviour, like human bodies. Here, we explore whether the subliminal presentation of emotionally charged visual primes modulates the explicit subjective aesthetic judgment of body images. Using a forward/backward masking procedure, we presented subliminally positive and negative, arousal-matched, emotional or neutral primes and measured their effect on the explicit evaluation of perceived beauty (high vs low) and emotion (positive vs negative) evoked by abstract and body images. We found that negative primes increased subjective aesthetic evaluations of target bodies or abstract images in comparison with positive primes. No influence of primes on the emotional dimension of the targets was found, thus ruling out an unspecific arousal effect and strengthening the link between emotional valence and aesthetic appreciation. More specifically, that subliminal negative primes increase beauty ratings compared to subliminal positive primes indicates a clear link between negative emotions and positive aesthetic evaluations and vice versa, suggesting a possible link between negative emotion and the experience of sublime in art. The study expands previous research by showing the effect of subliminal negative emotions on the subjective aesthetic evaluation not only of abstract but also of body images.
Isgett, Suzannah F; Algoe, Sara B; Boulton, Aaron J; Way, Baldwin M; Fredrickson, Barbara L
Ample research suggests that social connection reliably generates positive emotions. Oxytocin, a neuropeptide implicated in social cognition and behavior, is one biological mechanism that may influence an individual's capacity to extract positive emotions from social contexts. Because variation in certain genes may indicate underlying neurobiological differences, we tested whether several SNPs in two genes related to oxytocin signaling would show effects on positive emotions that were context-specific, depending on sociality. For six weeks, a sample of mid-life adults (N=122) participated in either socially-focused loving-kindness training or mindfulness training. During this timespan they reported their positive emotions daily. Five SNPs within OXTR and CD38 were assayed, and each was tested for its individual effect on daily emotions. The hypothesized three-way interaction between time, training type, and genetic variability emerged: Individuals homozygous for the G allele of OXTR rs1042778 experienced gains in daily positive emotions from loving-kindness training, whereas individuals with the T allele did not experience gains in positive emotions with either training. These findings are among the first to show how genetic differences in oxytocin signaling may influence an individual's capacity to experience positive emotions as a result of a socially-focused intervention.
Human, Lauren J; Thorson, Katherine R; Woolley, Joshua D; Mendes, Wendy Berry
Intranasal administration of the hypothalamic neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) has, in some studies, been associated with positive effects on social perception and cognition. Similarly, positive emotion inductions can improve a range of perceptual and performance-based behaviors. In this exploratory study, we examined how OT administration and positive emotion inductions interact in their associations with social and analytical performance. Participants (N=124) were randomly assigned to receive an intranasal spray of OT (40IU) or placebo and then viewed one of three videos designed to engender one of the following emotion states: social warmth, pride, or an affectively neutral state. Following the emotion induction, participants completed social perception and analytical tasks. There were no significant main effects of OT condition on social perception tasks, failing to replicate prior research, or on analytical performance. Further, OT condition and positive emotion inductions did not interact with each other in their associations with social perception performance. However, OT condition and positive emotion manipulations did significantly interact in their associations with analytical performance. Specifically, combining positive emotion inductions with OT administration was associated with worse analytical performance, with the pride induction no longer benefiting performance and the warmth induction resulting in worse performance. In sum, we found little evidence for main or interactive effects of OT on social perception but preliminary evidence that OT administration may impair analytical performance when paired with positive emotion inductions.
Hirschmüller, Sarah; Egloff, Boris
How do individuals emotionally cope with the imminent real-world salience of mortality? DeWall and Baumeister as well as Kashdan and colleagues previously provided support that an increased use of positive emotion words serves as a way to protect and defend against mortality salience of one's own contemplated death. Although these studies provide important insights into the psychological dynamics of mortality salience, it remains an open question how individuals cope with the immense threat of mortality prior to their imminent actual death. In the present research, we therefore analyzed positivity in the final words spoken immediately before execution by 407 death row inmates in Texas. By using computerized quantitative text analysis as an objective measure of emotional language use, our results showed that the final words contained a significantly higher proportion of positive than negative emotion words. This emotional positivity was significantly higher than (a) positive emotion word usage base rates in spoken and written materials and (b) positive emotional language use with regard to contemplated death and attempted or actual suicide. Additional analyses showed that emotional positivity in final statements was associated with a greater frequency of language use that was indicative of self-references, social orientation, and present-oriented time focus as well as with fewer instances of cognitive-processing, past-oriented, and death-related word use. Taken together, our findings offer new insights into how individuals cope with the imminent real-world salience of mortality.
Hirschmüller, Sarah; Egloff, Boris
How do individuals emotionally cope with the imminent real-world salience of mortality? DeWall and Baumeister as well as Kashdan and colleagues previously provided support that an increased use of positive emotion words serves as a way to protect and defend against mortality salience of one’s own contemplated death. Although these studies provide important insights into the psychological dynamics of mortality salience, it remains an open question how individuals cope with the immense threat of mortality prior to their imminent actual death. In the present research, we therefore analyzed positivity in the final words spoken immediately before execution by 407 death row inmates in Texas. By using computerized quantitative text analysis as an objective measure of emotional language use, our results showed that the final words contained a significantly higher proportion of positive than negative emotion words. This emotional positivity was significantly higher than (a) positive emotion word usage base rates in spoken and written materials and (b) positive emotional language use with regard to contemplated death and attempted or actual suicide. Additional analyses showed that emotional positivity in final statements was associated with a greater frequency of language use that was indicative of self-references, social orientation, and present-oriented time focus as well as with fewer instances of cognitive-processing, past-oriented, and death-related word use. Taken together, our findings offer new insights into how individuals cope with the imminent real-world salience of mortality. PMID:26793135
Brewin, Chris R; Kleiner, Jennifer Sue; Vasterling, Jennifer J; Field, Andy P
Studies have come to conflicting conclusions about whether posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with poorer memory for emotionally neutral information. The authors report a meta-analysis of 27 studies that investigated verbal and/or visual memory in samples with PTSD and healthy controls. The results indicated that the association between PTSD and memory impairment appears to be robust, small to moderate in size, and stronger for verbal than for visual memory. Effect sizes did not vary according to whether recall was immediate or delayed. The association is found in both civilian and military samples and cannot be readily explained as being due to the use of nontraumatized healthy control groups or concurrent head injury. The findings are placed in the context of recent neurobiological and experimental cognitive research.
Maheu, Francoise S; Joober, Ridha; Beaulieu, Serge; Lupien, Soriia J
The effects of adrenergic and corticosteroid hormonal systems on emotional memory were measured in 64 young men. Placebo, propranolol (40 or 80 mg; beta blocker), or metyiapone (corticosteroid synthesis inhibitor) was administered before the viewing of a story composed of emotional and neutral segments. Short- and long-term declarative memory for the story was assessed. Propranolol 40 mg had no effects on declarative memory. Propranolol 80 mg impaired short- and long-term declarative memory for emotionally arousing material. Metyrapone did not impair short-term declarative memory but impaired long-term declarative memory for emotionally arousing and neutral material. Results demonstrate that adrenergic and corticosteroid hormonal systems differentially affect declarative memory for emotionally arousing and neutral material, and suggest that interactions between adrenal hormonal systems modulate emotionally arousing declarative memory in humans.
Prehn, Kristin; Schulze, Lars; Rossmann, Sabine; Berger, Christoph; Vohs, Knut; Fleischer, Monika; Hauenstein, Karlheinz; Keiper, Peter; Domes, Gregor; Herpertz, Sabine C
OBJECTIVE. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the influence of concurrently presented emotional stimuli on cognitive task processing in violent criminal offenders primarily characterized by affective instability. METHODS. Fifteen male criminal offenders with antisocial and borderline personality disorder (ASPD and BPD) and 17 healthy controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while performing a working memory task with low and high working memory load. In a second experimental run, to investigate the interaction of emotion and cognition, we presented emotionally neutral, low, or high salient social scenes in the background of the task. RESULTS. During the memory task without pictures, both groups did not differ in general task performance and neural representation of working memory processes. During the memory task with emotional background pictures, however, ASPD-BPD subjects compared to healthy controls showed delayed responses and enhanced activation of the left amygdala in the presence of emotionally high salient pictures independent of working memory load. CONCLUSIONS. These results illustrate an interaction of emotion and cognition in affective instable individuals with enhanced reactivity to emotionally salient stimuli which might be an important factor regarding the understanding of aggressive and violent behaviour in these individuals.
Baucom, Brian R; Weusthoff, Sarah; Atkins, David C; Hahlweg, Kurt
Many studies have examined the importance of learning skills in behaviorally based couple interventions but none have examined predictors of long-term memory for skills. Associations between emotional arousal and long-term recall of communication skills delivered to couples during a behaviorally based relationship distress prevention program were examined in a sample of 49 German couples. Fundamental frequency (f(0)), a vocal measure of encoded emotional arousal, was measured during pre-treatment couple conflict. Higher levels of f(0) were linked to fewer skills remembered 11 years after completing the program, and women remembered more skills than men. Implications of results for behaviorally based couple interventions are discussed.
Li, Shijia; Weerda, Riklef; Guenzel, Friederike; Wolf, Oliver T; Thiel, Christiane M
Previous studies have shown that acute psychosocial stress impairs retrieval of declarative memory with emotional material being especially sensitive to this effect. A functional deletion variant of the ADRA2B gene encoding the α2B-adrenergic receptor has been shown to increase emotional memory and neural activity in the amygdala. We investigated the effects of acute psychosocial stress and the ADRA2B allele on recognition memory for emotional and neutral faces. Fourty-two healthy, non-smoker male volunteers (30 deletion carriers, 12 noncarriers) were tested with a face recognition paradigm. During encoding they were presented with emotional and neutral faces. One hour later, participants underwent either a stress ("Trier Social Stress Test (TSST)") or a control procedure which was followed immediately by the retrieval session where subjects had to indicate whether the presented face was old or new. Stress increased salivary cortisol concentrations, blood pressure and pulse and impaired recognition memory for faces independent of emotional valence and genotype. Participants showed generally slower reaction times to emotional faces. Carriers of the ADRA2B functional deletion variant showed an impaired recognition and slower retrieval of neutral faces under stress. Further, they were significantly slower in retrieving fearful faces in the control condition. The findings indicate that a genetic variation of the noradrenergic system may preserve emotional faces from stress-induced memory impairments seen for neutral faces and heighten reactivity to emotional stimuli under control conditions.
Shiota, Michelle N.; Levenson, Robert W.
Emotion regulation includes multiple strategies that rely upon different underlying abilities, and that may be affected differently by aging. We assessed young, middle-aged, and older adults' ability to implement three emotion regulation strategies (detached reappraisal, positive reappraisal, and behavior suppression) in a laboratory setting, using standardized emotional stimuli and a multi-method approach to assessing regulation success. Results revealed age-related decline in ability to implement detached reappraisal, enhancement of ability to implement positive reappraisal, and maintenance of ability to implement behavior suppression. We discuss these findings in terms of their implications for emotion theory and for promoting successful aging. PMID:20025404
Yang, Lixia; Truong, Linda; Fuss, Samantha; Bislimovic, Sanja
The self-reference effect (SRE) is a powerful memory advantage associated with encoding in reference to the self (e.g., Rogers, Kuiper, & Kirker, 1977). To explore whether this mnemonic benefit occurs spontaneously, the current study assessed how ageing and divided attention affect the magnitude of the SRE in emotional memory (i.e., memory for emotional stimuli). The sample included a young Full Attention group (young-FA), a young Divided Attention group (young-DA), and an older adult group. The division of attention was manipulated at encoding where participants incidentally studied positive, negative, and neutral trait adjectives in either a self-reference (i.e., rating how well each word describes themselves) or an other-reference condition (i.e., rating how well each word describes another person). Memory for these words was assessed with both recall and recognition tasks. The results from both tasks demonstrated equivalent SRE for all three groups across emotional valence categories of stimuli, suggesting that the SRE is a spontaneous, effortless, and robust effect in memory.
Weiss, Nicole H; Gratz, Kim L; Lavender, Jason M
Emotion regulation difficulties are a transdiagnostic construct relevant to numerous clinical difficulties. Although the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS) is a multidimensional measure of maladaptive ways of responding to emotions, it focuses on difficulties with the regulation of negative emotions and does not assess emotion dysregulation in the form of problematic responding to positive emotions. The aim of this study was to develop and validate a measure of clinically relevant difficulties in the regulation of positive emotions (DERS-Positive). Findings revealed a three-factor structure and supported the internal consistency and construct validity of the total and subscale scores.
For millennia, emotional states have been viewed as avoidable impediments to rational thinking (Ellis & Newton, 2000). Several reasons have been pointed out. The lack of consensus of the definition on emotion that tend to conflict with each other was suggested as a main reason (Price, 1998). Also the difficulty of research methodology such as…
Kjell, Oscar N E; Thompson, Sam
Objective. To explore the influences of discrete positive and negative emotions on cooperation in the context of a social dilemma game. Design. Two controlled studies were undertaken. In Study 1, 69 participants were randomly assigned to an essay emotion manipulation task designed to induce either guilt, joy or no strong emotion. In Study 2, 95 participants were randomly assigned to one of the same three tasks, and the impact of emotional condition on cooperation was explored using a repeated Prisoner's Dilemma Game. Results. Study 1 established that the manipulation task was successful in inducing the specified emotions. The analysis from Study 2 revealed no significant main effects for emotions, in contrast to previous research. However, there was a significant effect for participants' pre-existing tendency to cooperate (social value orientation; SVO). Conclusion. Methodological explanations for the result are explored, including the possible impact of trial-and-error strategies, different cooperation games and endogenous vs exogenous emotions.
Parke, Michael R; Seo, Myeong-Gu; Sherf, Elad N
Although past research has identified the effects of emotional intelligence on numerous employee outcomes, the relationship between emotional intelligence and creativity has not been well established. We draw upon affective information processing theory to explain how two facets of emotional intelligence-emotion regulation and emotion facilitation-shape employee creativity. Specifically, we propose that emotion regulation ability enables employees to maintain higher positive affect (PA) when faced with unique knowledge processing requirements, while emotion facilitation ability enables employees to use their PA to enhance their creativity. We find support for our hypotheses using a multimethod (ability test, experience sampling, survey) and multisource (archival, self-reported, supervisor-reported) research design of early career managers across a wide range of jobs.
Payne, Jessica D; Kensinger, Elizabeth A
After information is encoded into memory, it undergoes an off-line period of consolidation that may occur optimally during sleep. The consolidation process not only solidifies memories but also changes them in useful and adaptive ways. Here, we provide evidence for a shift in the neural structures used to retrieve emotional memories after a night of sleep compared to a day of wakefulness. Although the hippocampus was activated during successful retrieval of negative objects regardless of whether participants slept during a delay, sleep led to a shift from engagement of a diffuse memory retrieval network-including widespread activity in the lateral prefrontal and parietal cortices-to a more refined network of regions-including the amygdala and ventromedial pFC. Effective connectivity analyses revealed stronger connections among limbic regions after sleep versus wake. Although circadian effects may have contributed to these findings, our data strongly suggest that a night of sleep is sufficient to evoke qualitative changes in the emotional memory retrieval network.
Farmer, Antonina Savostyanova; Kashdan, Todd B
To minimize the possibility of scrutiny, people with social anxiety difficulties exert great effort to manage their emotions, particularly during social interactions. We examined how the use of two emotion regulation strategies, emotion suppression and cognitive reappraisal, predict the generation of emotions and social events in daily life. Over 14 consecutive days, 89 participants completed daily diary entries on emotions, positive and negative social events, and their regulation of emotions. Using multilevel modeling, we found that when people high in social anxiety relied more on positive emotion suppression, they reported fewer positive social events and less positive emotion on the subsequent day. In contrast, people low in social anxiety reported fewer negative social events on days subsequent to using cognitive reappraisal to reduce distress; the use of cognitive reappraisal did not influence the daily lives of people high in social anxiety. Our findings support theories of emotion regulation difficulties associated with social anxiety. In particular, for people high in social anxiety, maladaptive strategy use contributed to diminished reward responsiveness.
Pelletier, Joe Guillaume; Likhtik, Ekaterina; Filali, Mohammed; Pare, Denis
Manipulations that reduce or enhance the activity of basolateral amygdala (BLA) neurons in the minutes to hours after training have been shown to respectively impair or facilitate retention on the inhibitory avoidance task. Although this suggests that BLA activity is altered after emotional arousal, such changes have not been directly…
The purpose of this study is to expand research on persuasion 1) by examining psychological reactance as a function of threats to positive identity above and beyond threats to freedom and 2) by examining the role of positive emotions. An online survey recruited 478 students from undergraduate courses at several universities in the U.S. The study…
Fernandes-Santos, Luciano; Patti, Camilla L; Zanin, Karina A; Fernandes, Helaine A; Tufik, Sergio; Andersen, Monica L; Frussa-Filho, Roberto
The deleterious effects of paradoxical sleep deprivation on memory processes are well documented. However, non-selective sleep deprivation occurs more commonly in modern society and thus represents a better translational model. We have recently reported that acute total sleep deprivation (TSD) for 6 h immediately before testing impaired performance of male mice in the plus-maze discriminative avoidance task (PM-DAT) and in the passive avoidance task (PAT). In order to extend these findings to females, we examined the effect of (pre-test) TSD on the retrieval of different memory tasks in both male and female mice. Animals were tested using 3 distinct memory models: 1) conditioning fear context (CFC), 2) PAT and 3) PM-DAT. In all experiments, animals were totally sleep-deprived by the gentle interference method for 6h immediately before being tested. In the CFC task and the PAT, TSD induced memory impairment regardless of sex. In PM-DAT, the memory impairing effects of TSD were greater in females. Collectively, our results confirm the impairing effect of TSD on emotional memory retrieval and demonstrate that it can be higher in female mice depending on the memory task evaluated.
Jakubowski, Kelly; Müllensiefen, Daniel
Levitin's findings that nonmusicians could produce from memory the absolute pitches of self-selected pop songs have been widely cited in the music psychology literature. These findings suggest that latent absolute pitch (AP) memory may be a more widespread trait within the population than traditional AP labelling ability. However, it has been left unclear what factors may facilitate absolute pitch retention for familiar pieces of music. The aim of the present paper was to investigate factors that may contribute to latent AP memory using Levitin's sung production paradigm for AP memory and comparing results to the outcomes of a pitch labelling task, a relative pitch memory test, measures of music-induced emotions, and various measures of participants' musical backgrounds. Our results suggest that relative pitch memory and the quality and degree of music-elicited emotions impact on latent AP memory.
Kashdan, Todd B.; Breen, William E.
The purpose of the present study was to examine social anxiety as a predictor of positive emotions using a short-term prospective design. We examined whether the effects of social anxiety on positive emotions are moderated by tendencies to openly express or suppress emotions. Over the course of a 3-month interval, people with excessive social…
Babiker, Areej; Faye, Ibrahima; Prehn, Kristin; Malik, Aamir
Pupil diameter (PD) has been suggested as a reliable parameter for identifying an individual’s emotional state. In this paper, we introduce a learning machine technique to detect and differentiate between positive and negative emotions. We presented 30 participants with positive and negative sound stimuli and recorded pupillary responses. The results showed a significant increase in pupil dilation during the processing of negative and positive sound stimuli with greater increase for negative stimuli. We also found a more sustained dilation for negative compared to positive stimuli at the end of the trial, which was utilized to differentiate between positive and negative emotions using a machine learning approach which gave an accuracy of 96.5% with sensitivity of 97.93% and specificity of 98%. The obtained results were validated using another dataset designed for a different study and which was recorded while 30 participants processed word pairs with positive and negative emotions. PMID:26733912
Babiker, Areej; Faye, Ibrahima; Prehn, Kristin; Malik, Aamir
Pupil diameter (PD) has been suggested as a reliable parameter for identifying an individual's emotional state. In this paper, we introduce a learning machine technique to detect and differentiate between positive and negative emotions. We presented 30 participants with positive and negative sound stimuli and recorded pupillary responses. The results showed a significant increase in pupil dilation during the processing of negative and positive sound stimuli with greater increase for negative stimuli. We also found a more sustained dilation for negative compared to positive stimuli at the end of the trial, which was utilized to differentiate between positive and negative emotions using a machine learning approach which gave an accuracy of 96.5% with sensitivity of 97.93% and specificity of 98%. The obtained results were validated using another dataset designed for a different study and which was recorded while 30 participants processed word pairs with positive and negative emotions.
Bell, Raoul; Buchner, Axel; Kroneisen, Meike; Giang, Trang
A popular hypothesis in evolutionary psychology posits that reciprocal altruism is supported by a cognitive module that helps cooperative individuals to detect and remember cheaters. Consistent with this hypothesis, a source memory advantage for faces of cheaters (better memory for the cheating context in which these faces were encountered) was…
Zeng, Xianglong; Chiu, Cleo P K; Wang, Rong; Oei, Tian P S; Leung, Freedom Y K
While it has been suggested that loving-kindness meditation (LKM) is an effective practice for promoting positive emotions, the empirical evidence in the literature remains unclear. Here, we provide a systematic review of 24 empirical studies (N = 1759) on LKM with self-reported positive emotions. The effect of LKM on positive emotions was estimated with meta-analysis, and the influence of variations across LKM interventions was further explored with subgroup analysis and meta-regression. The meta-analysis showed that (1) medium effect sizes for LKM interventions on daily positive emotions in both wait-list controlled RCTs and non-RCT studies; and (2) small to large effect sizes for the on-going practice of LKM on immediate positive emotions across different comparisons. Further analysis showed that (1) interventions focused on loving-kindness had medium effect size, but interventions focused on compassion showed small effect sizes; (2) the length of interventions and the time spent on meditation did not influence the effect sizes, but the studies without didactic components in interventions had small effect sizes. A few individual studies reported that the nature of positive emotions and individual differences also influenced the results. In sum, LKM practice and interventions are effective in enhancing positive emotions, but more studies are needed to identify the active components of the interventions, to compare different psychological operations, and to explore the applicability in clinical populations.
Zeng, Xianglong; Chiu, Cleo P. K.; Wang, Rong; Oei, Tian P. S.; Leung, Freedom Y. K.
While it has been suggested that loving-kindness meditation (LKM) is an effective practice for promoting positive emotions, the empirical evidence in the literature remains unclear. Here, we provide a systematic review of 24 empirical studies (N = 1759) on LKM with self-reported positive emotions. The effect of LKM on positive emotions was estimated with meta-analysis, and the influence of variations across LKM interventions was further explored with subgroup analysis and meta-regression. The meta-analysis showed that (1) medium effect sizes for LKM interventions on daily positive emotions in both wait-list controlled RCTs and non-RCT studies; and (2) small to large effect sizes for the on-going practice of LKM on immediate positive emotions across different comparisons. Further analysis showed that (1) interventions focused on loving-kindness had medium effect size, but interventions focused on compassion showed small effect sizes; (2) the length of interventions and the time spent on meditation did not influence the effect sizes, but the studies without didactic components in interventions had small effect sizes. A few individual studies reported that the nature of positive emotions and individual differences also influenced the results. In sum, LKM practice and interventions are effective in enhancing positive emotions, but more studies are needed to identify the active components of the interventions, to compare different psychological operations, and to explore the applicability in clinical populations. PMID:26579061
Wirkner, Janine; Weymar, Mathias; Löw, Andreas; Hamm, Alfons O
Recent animal and human research indicates that stress around the time of encoding enhances long-term memory for emotionally arousing events but neural evidence remains unclear. In the present study we used the ERP old/new effect to investigate brain dynamics underlying the long-term effects of acute pre-encoding stress on memory for emotional and neutral scenes. Participants were exposed either to the Socially Evaluated Cold Pressure Test (SECPT) or a warm water control procedure before viewing 30 unpleasant, 30 neutral and 30 pleasant pictures. Two weeks after encoding, recognition memory was tested using 90 old and 90 new pictures. Emotional pictures were better recognized than neutral pictures in both groups and related to an enhanced centro-parietal ERP old/new difference (400-800 ms) during recognition, which suggests better recollection. Most interestingly, pre-encoding stress exposure specifically increased the ERP old/new-effect for emotional (unpleasant) pictures, but not for neutral pictures. These enhanced ERP/old new differences for emotional (unpleasant) scenes were particularly pronounced for those participants who reported high levels of stress during the SECPT. The results suggest that acute pre-encoding stress specifically strengthens brain signals of emotional memories, substantiating a facilitating role of stress on memory for emotional scenes.
Quesada, Andrea A; Tristão, Rosana M; Pratesi, Riccardo; Wolf, Oliver T
The prevalence of preterm birth (PTB) is high worldwide, especially in developing countries like Brazil. PTB is marked by a stressful environment in intra- as well as extrauterine life, which can affect neurodevelopment and hormonal and physiological systems and lead to long-term negative outcomes. Nevertheless, little is known about PTB and related outcomes later on in childhood. Thus, the goals of the current study were threefold: (1) comparing cortisol and alpha-amylase (sAA) profiles, including cortisol awakening response (CAR), between preterm and full-term children; (2) evaluating whether preterm children are more responsive to acute stress and (3) assessing their memory skills and emotional and behavioral profiles. Basal cortisol and sAA profiles, including CAR of 30 preterm children, aged 6 to 10 years, were evaluated. Further, we assessed memory functions using the Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning, and we screened behavior/emotion using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. The results of preterm children were compared to an age- and sex-matched control group. One week later, participants were exposed to a standardized laboratory stressor [Trier Social Stress Test for Children (TSST-C)], in which cortisol and sAA were measured at baseline, 1, 10 and 25 min after stressor exposure. Preterm children had higher cortisol concentrations at awakening, a flattened CAR and an exaggerated response to TSST-C compared to full-term children. These alterations were more pronounced in girls. In addition, preterm children were characterized by more emotional problems and poorer memory performance. Our findings illustrate the long-lasting and in part sex-dependent effects of PTB on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, internalizing behavior and memory. The findings are in line with the idea that early adversity alters the set-point of the HPA axis, thereby creating a more vulnerable phenotype.
Steinberger, Allie; Payne, Jessica D; Kensinger, Elizabeth A
Emotional information is often remembered better than neutral information, but this enhancement can come at the cost of memory for non-emotional stimuli presented alongside emotionally salient items. Two encoding-related factors have been proposed to influence the magnitude of this trade-off: The intensity of the affective response to the scenes (which increases the trade-off) and the cognitive control exerted to process the scenes (which decreases the trade-off). The present study examined the relative importance of these two factors by assessing the effect of cognitive reappraisal on the magnitude of the trade-off effect. Cognitive reappraisal refers to the implementation of cognitive strategies to assist a person in changing the intensity of their response to an experience. Thus, reappraisal provides a way to assess both of the factors that are important for the elicitation of the trade-off. The results revealed that when participants were asked to view the scenes, without cognitive reappraisal, a robust memory trade-off occurred. But, when participants were asked to either heighten or decrease their emotional reactions via reappraisal, there was a reduction in the magnitude of the trade-off. These results suggest that the cognitive process of reappraising the scenes is sufficient to reduce the trade-off effect, even when such processing leads to an intensified affective response.
Ravaja, Niklas; Kallinen, Kari; Saari, Timo; Keltikangas-Jarvinen, Liisa
The authors examined the effects of suboptimally presented facial expressions on emotional and attentional responses and memory among 39 young adults viewing video (business news) messages from a small screen. Facial electromyography (EMG) and respiratory sinus arrhythmia were used as physiological measures of emotion and attention, respectively.…
Cordon, Ingrid M.; Melinder, Annika M. D.; Goodman, Gail S.; Edelstein, Robin S.
Two studies were conducted to examine theoretical questions about children's and adults' memory for emotional visual stimuli. In Study 1, 7- to 9-year-olds and adults (N = 172) participated in the initial creation of the Developmental Affective Photo System (DAPS). Ratings of emotional valence, arousal, and complexity were obtained. In Study 2,…
Abraham, Michelle M.; Kerns, Kathryn A.
This study examined whether emotions and coping explain (mediate) the association between mother-child attachment and peer relationships. Attachment, positive and negative emotion experience, coping, and peer relationships were examined in 106 fourth-grade through sixth-grade girls attending a 6-day residential camp. Attachment, experience of…
Kheirzadeh, Shiela; Hajiabed, Mohammadreza
The present interdisciplinary research investigates the differential emotional expression between Persian monolinguals and Persian-English bilinguals. In other words, the article was an attempt to answer the questions whether bilinguals and monolinguals differ in the expression of positive and negative emotions elicited through sad and happy…
de Wit, Tessa C. J.; Falck-Ytter, Terje; von Hofsten, Claes
One of the core issues in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is problematic social interaction, which for an important part is reflected by poor processing of emotional information. Typically, adults show specific viewing patterns while scanning positive and negative emotional expressions in faces. In this study, we investigated whether the same…
Luo, Yi; Zhou, Jun; Li, Ming-Xing; Wu, Peng-Fei; Hu, Zhuang-Li; Ni, Lan; Jin, You; Chen, Jian-Guo; Wang, Fang
Aging-related emotional memory deficit is a well-known complication in Alzheimer's disease and normal aging. However, little is known about its molecular mechanism. To address this issue, we examined the role of norepinephrine (NE) and its relevant drug desipramine in the regulation of hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), surface expression of AMPA receptor, and associative fear memory in rats. We found that there was a defective regulation of NE content and AMPA receptor trafficking during fear conditioning, which were accompanied by impaired emotional memory and LTP in aged rats. Furthermore, we also found that the exogenous upregulation of NE ameliorated the impairment of LTP and emotional memory via enhancing AMPA receptor trafficking in aged rats, and the downregulation of NE impaired LTP in adult rats. Finally, acute treatment with NE or desipramine rescued the impaired emotional memory in aged rats. These results imply a pivotal role for NE in synaptic plasticity and associative fear memory in aging rats and suggest that desipramine is a potential candidate for treating aging-related emotional memory deficit.
Gruber, June; Kogan, Aleksandr; Quoidbach, Jordi; Mauss, Iris B
Positive emotion has been shown to be associated with adaptive outcomes in a number of domains, including psychological health. However, research has largely focused on overall levels of positive emotion with less attention paid to how variable versus stable it is across time. We thus examined the psychological health correlates of positive emotion variability versus stability across 2 distinct studies, populations, and scientifically validated approaches for quantifying variability in emotion across time. Study 1 used a daily experience approach in a U.S. community sample (N = 244) to examine positive emotion variability across 2 weeks (macrolevel). Study 2 adopted a daily reconstruction method in a French adult sample (N = 2,391) to examine variability within 1 day (microlevel). Greater macro- and microlevel variability in positive emotion was associated with worse psychological health, including lower well-being and life satisfaction and greater depression and anxiety (Study 1), and lower daily satisfaction, life satisfaction, and happiness (Study 2). Taken together, these findings support the notion that positive emotion variability plays an important and incremental role in psychological health above and beyond overall levels of happiness, and that too much variability might be maladaptive.
de Quervain, Dominique J-F; Kolassa, Iris-Tatjana; Ertl, Verena; Onyut, P Lamaro; Neuner, Frank; Elbert, Thomas; Papassotiropoulos, Andreas
Emotionally arousing events are recalled better than neutral events. This phenomenon, which helps us to remember important and potentially vital information, depends on the activation of noradrenergic transmission in the brain. Here we show that a deletion variant of ADRA2B, the gene encoding the alpha2b-adrenergic receptor, is related to enhanced emotional memory in healthy Swiss subjects and in survivors of the Rwandan civil war who experienced highly aversive emotional situations.
Papousek, Ilona; Weiss, Elisabeth M; Mosbacher, Jochen A; Reiser, Eva M; Schulter, Günter; Fink, Andreas
Behavioral studies suggested heightened impact of emotionally laden perceptual input in schizophrenia spectrum disorders, in particular in patients with prominent positive symptoms. De-coupling of prefrontal and posterior cortices during stimulus processing, which is related to loosening of control of the prefrontal cortex over incoming affectively laden information, may underlie this abnormality. Pre-selected groups of individuals with low versus high positive schizotypy (lower and upper quartile of a large screening sample) were tested. During exposure to auditory displays of strong emotions (anger, sadness, cheerfulness), individuals with elevated levels of positive schizotypal symptoms showed lesser prefrontal-posterior coupling (EEG coherence) than their symptom-free counterparts (right hemisphere). This applied to negative emotions in particular and was most pronounced during confrontation with anger. The findings indicate a link between positive symptoms and a heightened impact particularly of threatening emotionally laden stimuli which might lead to exacerbation of positive symptoms and inappropriate behavior in interpersonal situations.
Morgan, James; Atkin, Lisa
The aim of the present pilot study was to assess the effect of a brief work-related self-affirming implementation intention (WS-AII) on the well-being of primary school teachers. Participants were randomly allocated to one of two conditions: one in which they were asked to create a WS-AII or one in which they were asked to create a control implementation intention (C-II). State anxiety was measured pre- and post-manipulation, self-efficacy at post-manipulation only, and emotions in teaching and emotion regulation at baseline and at a two-week follow-up. There were statistically significant differences between the WS-AII condition and the control. Teachers who created work-related self-affirming implementation intentions reported an immediate reduction in state anxiety. Positive effects extended over the two-week period, with teachers in the WS-AII condition also reporting more positive emotions in teaching and the use of reappraisal emotion regulation strategies rather than emotion suppression. Results suggest that the integration of the WS-AII into existing organisational practice may be of benefit to the well-being of teachers and other highly stressed workers.
Morgan, James; Atkin, Lisa
The aim of the present pilot study was to assess the effect of a brief work-related self-affirming implementation intention (WS-AII) on the well-being of primary school teachers. Participants were randomly allocated to one of two conditions: one in which they were asked to create a WS-AII or one in which they were asked to create a control implementation intention (C-II). State anxiety was measured pre- and post-manipulation, self-efficacy at post-manipulation only, and emotions in teaching and emotion regulation at baseline and at a two-week follow-up. There were statistically significant differences between the WS-AII condition and the control. Teachers who created work-related self-affirming implementation intentions reported an immediate reduction in state anxiety. Positive effects extended over the two-week period, with teachers in the WS-AII condition also reporting more positive emotions in teaching and the use of reappraisal emotion regulation strategies rather than emotion suppression. Results suggest that the integration of the WS-AII into existing organisational practice may be of benefit to the well-being of teachers and other highly stressed workers. PMID:27187437
Gan, Shuzhen; Yang, Jianfeng; Chen, Xuhai; Zhang, Xiuping; Yang, Yufang
This study investigates how the working memory (WM) load influenced the efficacy of cognitive reappraisal, a frequently used strategy for emotion regulation. In a dual-task paradigm, the participants were required to perform a high-load or a low-load memory task and simultaneously reappraise aversive pictures with a negative or a neutral meaning. In the low-load condition, we found that the amplitude of emotion-enhanced late positive potential (LPP) was significantly decreased by neutral reappraisal compared to negative reappraisal. In the high-load condition, this regulatory effect of reappraisal disappeared. These results suggest that successful reappraisal relies on cognitive resources and WM processes. If the necessary resources involved in reappraisal are over-depleted by a concurrent memory task, the reappraisal effect will be impaired. Moreover, we found that emotion-enhanced LPP was significant in both of the high-load and low-load tasks, which suggests that emotional electrocortical response may not be susceptible to the available resources.
Bradley, Margaret M.; Sege, Christopher T.; Bowers, Dawn
Hedonic bias during free viewing of novel emotional and neutral scenes was investigated in older adults and college students. A neurophysiological index of emotional picture processing–the amplitude of the centroparietal late positive potential (LPP)–was recorded from the scalp using a dense sensor array while participants (29 older adults; 21 college students) viewed emotionally engaging or mundane natural scenes that varied in specific content. Both students and older adults showed LPP enhancement when viewing affective, compared to neutral, scenes, and there was no difference in LPP amplitude between older individuals and college students when viewing neutral everyday scenes. However, compared to the college students, older individuals showed attenuated LPP amplitude when viewing emotional scenes, regardless of hedonic valence or specific content. Age related differences could be mediated by a reduction in reactive emotional arousal with age, possible mediated by repeated life exposure to emotional stimuli. PMID:27589393
Wang, Qi; Hutt, Rachel; Kulkofsky, Sarah; McDermott, Melissa; Wei, Ruohong
This study examined the influence of children's emotion situation knowledge (EK) on their autobiographical memory ability at both group and individual levels. Native Chinese, Chinese immigrant, and European American 3-year-old children participated (N = 189). During a home visit, children recounted 2 personal memories of recent, 1-time events with…
Demiray, Burcu; Freund, Alexandra M
This study examined the perceived psychosocial functions of flashbulb memories: It compared positive and negative public flashbulb memories (positive: Bin Laden's death, negative: Michael Jackson's death) with private ones (positive: pregnancy, negative: death of a loved one). A sample of n = 389 young and n = 176 middle-aged adults answered canonical category questions used to identify flashbulb memories and rated the personal significance, the psychological temporal distance, and the functions of each memory (i.e., self-continuity, social-boding, directive functions). Hierarchical regressions showed that, in general, private memories were rated more functional than public memories. Positive and negative private memories were comparable in self-continuity and directionality, but the positive private memory more strongly served social functions. In line with the positivity bias in autobiographical memory, positive flashbulb memories felt psychologically closer than negative ones. Finally, middle-aged adults rated their memories as less functional regarding self-continuity and social-bonding than young adults. Results are discussed regarding the tripartite model of autobiographical memory functions.
Navratilova, Edita; Morimura, Kozo; Xie, Jennifer Y; Atcherley, Christopher W; Ossipov, Michael H; Porreca, Frank
Chronic pain is an important public health problem that negatively impacts the quality of life of affected individuals and exacts enormous socioeconomic costs. Chronic pain is often accompanied by comorbid emotional disorders including anxiety, depression, and possibly anhedonia. The neural circuits underlying the intersection of pain and pleasure are not well understood. We summarize recent human and animal investigations and demonstrate that aversive aspects of pain are encoded in brain regions overlapping with areas processing reward and motivation. We highlight findings revealing anatomical and functional alterations of reward/motivation circuits in chronic pain. Finally, we review supporting evidence for the concept that pain relief is rewarding and activates brain reward/motivation circuits. Adaptations in brain reward circuits may be fundamental to the pathology of chronic pain. Knowledge of brain reward processing in the context of pain could lead to the development of new therapeutics for the treatment of emotional aspects of pain and comorbid conditions.
Maran, Thomas; Sachse, Pierre; Furtner, Marco
Previous findings suggest that visual working memory (VWM) preferentially remembers angry looking faces. However, the meaning of facial actions is construed in relation to context. To date, there are no studies investigating the role of perceiver-based context when processing emotional cues in VWM. To explore the influence of affective context on VWM for faces, we conducted two experiments using both a VWM task for emotionally expressive faces and a mood induction procedure. Affective context was manipulated by unpleasant (Experiment 1) and pleasant (Experiment 2) IAPS pictures in order to induce an affect high in motivational intensity (defensive or appetitive, respectively) compared to a low arousal control condition. Results indicated specifically increased sensitivity of VWM for angry looking faces in the neutral condition. Enhanced VWM for angry faces was prevented by inducing affects of high motivational intensity. In both experiments, affective states led to a switch from specific enhancement of angry expressions in VWM to an equally sensitive representation of all emotional expressions. Our findings demonstrate that emotional expressions are of different behavioral relevance for the receiver depending on the affective context, supporting a functional organization of VWM along with flexible resource allocation. In VWM, stimulus processing adjusts to situational requirements and transitions from a specifically prioritizing default mode in predictable environments to a sensitive, hypervigilant mode in exposure to emotional events. PMID:26379609
Soravia, Leila M; Witmer, Joëlle S; Schwab, Simon; Nakataki, Masahito; Dierks, Thomas; Wiest, Roland; Henke, Katharina; Federspiel, Andrea; Jann, Kay
Low self-referential thoughts are associated with better concentration, which leads to deeper encoding and increases learning and subsequent retrieval. There is evidence that being engaged in externally rather than internally focused tasks is related to low neural activity in the default mode network (DMN) promoting open mind and the deep elaboration of new information. Thus, reduced DMN activity should lead to enhanced concentration, comprehensive stimulus evaluation including emotional categorization, deeper stimulus processing, and better long-term retention over one whole week. In this fMRI study, we investigated brain activation preceding and during incidental encoding of emotional pictures and on subsequent recognition performance. During fMRI, 24 subjects were exposed to 80 pictures of different emotional valence and subsequently asked to complete an online recognition task one week later. Results indicate that neural activity within the medial temporal lobes during encoding predicts subsequent memory performance. Moreover, a low activity of the default mode network preceding incidental encoding leads to slightly better recognition performance independent of the emotional perception of a picture. The findings indicate that the suppression of internally-oriented thoughts leads to a more comprehensive and thorough evaluation of a stimulus and its emotional valence. Reduced activation of the DMN prior to stimulus onset is associated with deeper encoding and enhanced consolidation and retrieval performance even one week later. Even small prestimulus lapses of attention influence consolidation and subsequent recognition performance.
Sneddon, Ian; McKeown, Gary; McRorie, Margaret; Vukicevic, Tijana
Background Studies of cross-cultural variations in the perception of emotion have typically compared rates of recognition of static posed stimulus photographs. That research has provided evidence for universality in the recognition of a range of emotions but also for some systematic cross-cultural variation in the interpretation of emotional expression. However, questions remain about how widely such findings can be generalised to real life emotional situations. The present study provides the first evidence that the previously reported interplay between universal and cultural influences extends to ratings of natural, dynamic emotional stimuli. Methodology/Principal Findings Participants from Northern Ireland, Serbia, Guatemala and Peru used a computer based tool to continuously rate the strength of positive and negative emotion being displayed in twelve short video sequences by people from the United Kingdom engaged in emotional conversations. Generalized additive mixed models were developed to assess the differences in perception of emotion between countries and sexes. Our results indicate that the temporal pattern of ratings is similar across cultures for a range of emotions and social contexts. However, there are systematic differences in intensity ratings between the countries, with participants from Northern Ireland making the most extreme ratings in the majority of the clips. Conclusions/Significance The results indicate that there is strong agreement across cultures in the valence and patterns of ratings of natural emotional situations but that participants from different cultures show systematic variation in the intensity with which they rate emotion. Results are discussed in terms of both ‘in-group advantage’ and ‘display rules’ approaches. This study indicates that examples of natural spontaneous emotional behaviour can be used to study cross-cultural variations in the perception of emotion. PMID:21364739
Cicero, David C; Klaunig, Mallory J; Trask, Christi L; Neis, Aaron M
Social-cognitive models posit a role of Anomalous Self-Experiences (ASEs), disturbances in the subjective experience of the self, in the development and maintenance of psychosis. Theorists have suggested that ASEs may underlie the social-cognitive deficits that are common in people with schizophrenia. Positive symptoms, negative symptoms, and ASEs may interfere with the ability to perceive, use, understand, and manage emotions. In the current study, 45 people with schizophrenia and 28 healthy controls completed the Inventory of Psychotic-Like Anomalous Self-Experiences (IPASE), the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT), and were rated on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). Participants with schizophrenia had higher IPASE scores and lower MSCEIT scores than the comparison group. In a series of simultaneous regressions, ASEs, but not positive or negative symptoms, were associated with Total MSCEIT scores and the Using Emotions branch score. In contrast, positive symptoms, but not ASEs or negative symptoms were associated with Perceiving and Managing Emotions branches. Both ASEs and positive symptoms independently contributed to Emotional Experiencing scores. The severity of negative symptoms was not associated with deficits in any MSCEIT scores. These results suggest unique roles for ASEs and positive symptoms in emotion processing deficits in people with schizophrenia.
Gruber, June; Johnson, Sheri L.
Recent psychosocial theories implicate disturbances in reward pursuit among individuals putatively at risk for mania. The present study examined associations of a measure of risk for mania (the Hypomanic Personality Scale; HPS) with both four trait positive emotions (joy, pride, compassion, and love) and ambitious life goals in five domains (fame, wealth, political influence, family, and friends) among 302 participants from two university settings. Findings indicated that higher HPS scores were related to reward (joy) and achievement-focused (pride) positive emotions, with weaker relations to prosocial (compassion, love) positive emotions. HPS scores were more robustly related to extrinsic (fame, politics) as compared to other-oriented (friends, family) ambitious life goals, with the exception of wealth. These effects were independent of current symptoms of mania and depression. Discussion focuses on the implications of elevated reward and achievement-related positive emotions and goals in understanding risk factors for mania. PMID:20360995
Piguet, Olivier; Connally, Emily; Krendl, Anne C; Huot, Jessica R; Corkin, Suzanne
Memory is susceptible to distortions. Valence and increasing age are variables known to affect memory accuracy and may increase false alarm production. Interaction between these variables and their impact on false memory was investigated in 36 young (18-28 years) and 36 older (61-83 years) healthy adults. At study, participants viewed lists of neutral words orthographically related to negative, neutral, or positive critical lures (not presented). Memory for these words was subsequently tested with a remember-know procedure. At test, items included the words seen at study and their associated critical lures, as well as sets of orthographically related neutral words not seen at study and their associated unstudied lures. Positive valence was shown to have two opposite effects on older adults' discrimination of the lures: It improved correct rejection of unstudied lures but increased false memory for critical lures (i.e., lures associated with words studied previously). Thus, increased salience triggered by positive valence may disrupt memory accuracy in older adults when discriminating among similar events. These findings likely reflect a source memory deficit due to decreased efficiency in cognitive control processes with aging.
Jinghua, Wu; Wenguang, Lu; Hailiang, Meng
For it can meet needs of negotiation among organizations take place in different time and place, and for it can make its course more rationality and result more ideal, persuasion based on agent can improve cooperation among organizations well. Integrated emotion change in agent persuasion can further bring agent advantage of artificial intelligence into play. Emotion of agent persuasion is classified, and the concept of positive change degree is given. Based on this, persuasion model based on positive change degree of agent emotion is constructed, which is explained clearly through an example. Finally, the method of relative evaluation is given, which is also verified through a calculation example.
Emotion regulation research has primarily focused on techniques that attenuate or modulate the impact of emotional stimuli. Recent evidence suggests that this mode regulation can be problematic in the context of regulation of emotion elicited by the suffering of others, resulting in reduced emotional connectedness. Here, we investigated the effects of an alternative emotion regulation technique based on the up-regulation of positive affect via Compassion-meditation on experiential and neural affective responses to depictions of individuals in distress, and compared these with the established emotion regulation strategy of Reappraisal. Using fMRI, we scanned 15 expert practitioners of Compassion-meditation either passively viewing, or using Compassion-meditation or Reappraisal to modulate their emotional reactions to film clips depicting people in distress. Both strategies effectively, but differentially regulated experienced affect, with Compassion primarily increasing positive and Reappraisal primarily decreasing negative affect. Imaging results showed that Compassion, relative to both passive-viewing and Reappraisal increased activation in regions involved in affiliation, positive affect and reward processing including ventral striatum and medial orbitfrontal cortex. This network was shown to be active prior to stimulus presentation, suggesting that the regulatory mechanism of Compassion is the stimulus-independent endogenous generation of positive affect. PMID:25698699
Johnston, Stephen; Linden, D E J; Healy, D; Goebel, R; Habes, I; Boehm, S G
Real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging can be used to feed back signal changes from the brain to participants such that they can train to modulate activation levels in specific brain areas. Here we present the first study combining up-regulation of brain areas for positive emotions with psychometric measures to assess the effect of successful self-regulation on subsequent mood. We localized brain areas associated with positive emotions through presentation of standardized pictures with positive valence. Participants up-regulated activation levels in their target area during specific periods, alternating with rest. Participants attained reliable self-control of the target area by the last of three seven-minute runs. This training effect was supported by an extensive network outside the targeted brain region, including higher sensory areas, paralimbic and orbitofrontal cortex. Self-control of emotion areas was not accompanied by clear changes in self-reported emotions; trend-level improvements on depression scores were counteracted by increases on measures of fatigue, resulting in no overall mood improvement. It is possible that benefits of self-control of emotion networks may only appear in people who display abnormal emotional homeostasis. The use of only a single, short, training session, overlap between positive and negative emotion networks and aversive reactions to the scanning environment may have prevented the detection of subtle changes in mood.
Todorova, Gergana; Bear, Julia B; Weingart, Laurie R
Scholars have assumed that the presence of negative emotions during task conflict implies the absence of positive emotions. However, emotions researchers have shown that positive and negative emotions are not 2 ends of a bipolar continuum; rather, they represent 2 separate, orthogonal dimensions. Drawing on affective events theory, we develop and test hypotheses about the effects of task conflict on positive emotions and job satisfaction. To this end, we distinguish among the frequency, intensity, and information gained from task conflict. Using field data from 232 employees in a long-term health care organization, we find that more frequent mild task conflict expression engenders more information acquisition, but more frequent intense task conflict expression hinders it. Because of the information gains from mild task conflict expression, employees feel more active, energized, interested, and excited, and these positive active emotions increase job satisfaction. The information gained during task conflict, however, is not always energizing: It depends on the extent to which the behavioral context involves active learning and whether the conflict is cross-functional. We discuss theoretical implications for conflict, emotions, and job satisfaction in organizations.
Engen, Haakon G; Singer, Tania
Emotion regulation research has primarily focused on techniques that attenuate or modulate the impact of emotional stimuli. Recent evidence suggests that this mode regulation can be problematic in the context of regulation of emotion elicited by the suffering of others, resulting in reduced emotional connectedness. Here, we investigated the effects of an alternative emotion regulation technique based on the up-regulation of positive affect via Compassion-meditation on experiential and neural affective responses to depictions of individuals in distress, and compared these with the established emotion regulation strategy of Reappraisal. Using fMRI, we scanned 15 expert practitioners of Compassion-meditation either passively viewing, or using Compassion-meditation or Reappraisal to modulate their emotional reactions to film clips depicting people in distress. Both strategies effectively, but differentially regulated experienced affect, with Compassion primarily increasing positive and Reappraisal primarily decreasing negative affect. Imaging results showed that Compassion, relative to both passive-viewing and Reappraisal increased activation in regions involved in affiliation, positive affect and reward processing including ventral striatum and medial orbitfrontal cortex. This network was shown to be active prior to stimulus presentation, suggesting that the regulatory mechanism of Compassion is the stimulus-independent endogenous generation of positive affect.
The present study examined the effects of emotion elicited by episodes (past events or expected future events) and the relationship between individual differences in emotional intelligence and memory. Participants' emotional intelligence was assessed on the Japanese version of Emotional Skills and Competence Questionnaire. They rated the pleasantness of episodes they associated with targets, and then performed unexpected free recall tests. When the targets were associated with episodes that were past events, all participants recalled more of the targets associated with pleasant and unpleasant episodes than those associated with neutral episodes. However, when the targets were associated with episodes expected to occur in the future, only participants with higher emotional intelligence scores recalled more of the targets associated with pleasant and unpleasant episodes. The participants with lower emotional intelligence scores recalled the three target types with similar accuracy. These results were interpreted as showing that emotional intelligence is associated with the processing of targets associated with future episodes as retrieval cues.
Wolfe, Christy D; Bell, Martha Ann
This study was an attempt to integrate cognitive development (i.e., cognitive control) and emotional development (i.e., emotion regulation) in the first years of life. The construct of temperament was used to unify cognition and emotion because of its focus on attentional and regulatory behaviors. Children were seen at 8 months and 412-years of age in a study designed to examine the correlates of working memory development. Frontal brain electrical activity and temperament predicted working memory performance at 8 months. Similarly, frontal brain electrical activity, temperament, and language predicted working memory at age 412-years. Temperament in early childhood mediated the relation between infant temperament and early childhood working memory performance. These associated temperament characteristics highlight the value of early-learned regulatory and attentional behaviors and the impact of these early skills on later development.
Mauss, Iris B; Shallcross, Amanda J; Troy, Allison S; John, Oliver P; Ferrer, Emilio; Wilhelm, Frank H; Gross, James J
It is now clear that positive emotion leads to enhanced psychological functioning. What is less clear, however, is just why this is so. Drawing on a social-functional perspective, we argue that positive emotional behavior that accurately signals to others the individual's internal state will enhance social connectedness. Positive emotional behavior that does not accurately signal a person's experience--such as a smile that is not felt--may impede social connectedness and, in turn, psychological functioning. This perspective suggests that (a) the degree to which experience and behavior are dissociated during positive emotional episodes, over and above level of positive behavior, should predict worse psychological functioning and (b) the effect of dissociation should be mediated by social connectedness. To test these hypotheses, we conducted a short-term prospective longitudinal study, with a baseline assessment of depressive symptoms and well-being at Time 1. Six months later, at Time 2, we used a novel within-individual laboratory paradigm to measure the degree to which positive emotional behavior was dissociated from (vs. coherent with) a participant's positive emotional experience. We also assessed level of positive behavior and experience. Then, another 6 months later, we assessed social connectedness as a mediator and depressive symptoms and well-being as outcomes at Time 3. Even when controlling for baseline functioning and for level of positive emotion behavior and experience, we found that greater positive experience-behavior dissociation at Time 2 predicted higher levels of depressive symptoms and lower levels of well-being at Time 3. As predicted, these associations were mediated by social connectedness.
Chan, Pei-Ying S; Cheng, Chia-Hsiung; Jhu, Ya-Jhih; Chen, Chia-Ling; von Leupoldt, Andreas
Respiratory sensory gating function has been found decreased by induced negative emotion in healthy adults. The increased ratio of the respiratory-related evoked potential (RREP) N1 peak amplitude for the second occlusion (S2) vs. the first occlusion (S1), S2/S1, is indicative of such decreased respiratory sensory gating. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that a positive emotional context would enhance respiratory sensory gating function in healthy individuals. In addition, we tested the modulating role of individual anxiety levels. We compared respiratory sensory gating in 40 healthy individuals by the paired inspiratory occlusion paradigm in a positive and neutral emotional context induced by emotional picture viewing. The results showed that the group averaged RREP N1 peak amplitudes S2/S1 ratios were significantly smaller in the positive compared to neutral context (0.49 vs. 0.64; p < 0.01). Further, analysis showed that the ratio decrease was due to a reduced response to the S2 and an enhanced response to S1 in the positive emotional context (p < 0.05). The subgroup analyses showed that in the positive emotional context, both individuals with low-moderate anxiety levels and those with no anxiety demonstrated a significant decrease of their S2/S1 ratio, but only those with low-moderate anxiety levels showed reduced S2 amplitudes compared to the neutral context (p < 0.01). In conclusion, our results suggest that a positive emotional context is related to better brain inhibitory mechanisms by filtering out repetitive respiratory stimuli in healthy individuals, especially in the presence of low-moderate anxiety levels. Further, investigation on how positive emotional contexts might contribute to improved respiratory sensory gating ability in clinical populations is necessary.
Chan, Pei-Ying S.; Cheng, Chia-Hsiung; Jhu, Ya-Jhih; Chen, Chia-Ling; von Leupoldt, Andreas
Respiratory sensory gating function has been found decreased by induced negative emotion in healthy adults. The increased ratio of the respiratory-related evoked potential (RREP) N1 peak amplitude for the second occlusion (S2) vs. the first occlusion (S1), S2/S1, is indicative of such decreased respiratory sensory gating. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that a positive emotional context would enhance respiratory sensory gating function in healthy individuals. In addition, we tested the modulating role of individual anxiety levels. We compared respiratory sensory gating in 40 healthy individuals by the paired inspiratory occlusion paradigm in a positive and neutral emotional context induced by emotional picture viewing. The results showed that the group averaged RREP N1 peak amplitudes S2/S1 ratios were significantly smaller in the positive compared to neutral context (0.49 vs. 0.64; p < 0.01). Further, analysis showed that the ratio decrease was due to a reduced response to the S2 and an enhanced response to S1 in the positive emotional context (p < 0.05). The subgroup analyses showed that in the positive emotional context, both individuals with low-moderate anxiety levels and those with no anxiety demonstrated a significant decrease of their S2/S1 ratio, but only those with low-moderate anxiety levels showed reduced S2 amplitudes compared to the neutral context (p < 0.01). In conclusion, our results suggest that a positive emotional context is related to better brain inhibitory mechanisms by filtering out repetitive respiratory stimuli in healthy individuals, especially in the presence of low-moderate anxiety levels. Further, investigation on how positive emotional contexts might contribute to improved respiratory sensory gating ability in clinical populations is necessary. PMID:26909040
Ceccom, Johnatan; Halley, Hélène; Daumas, Stéphanie; Lassalle, Jean Michel
We investigated the specific role of zinc present in large amounts in the synaptic vesicles of mossy fibers and coreleased with glutamate in the CA3 region. In previous studies, we have shown that blockade of zinc after release has no effect on the consolidation of spatial learning, while zinc is required for the consolidation of contextual fear conditioning. Although both are hippocampo-dependent processes, fear conditioning to the context implies a strong emotional burden. To verify the hypothesis that zinc could play a specific role in enabling sustainable memorization of a single event with a strong emotional component, we used a neuropharmacological approach combining a glutamate receptor antagonist with different zinc chelators. Results show that zinc is mandatory to allow the consolidation of one-shot memory, thus being the key element allowing the hippocampus submitted to a strong emotional charge to switch from the cognitive mode to a flashbulb memory mode. Individual differences in learning abilities have been known for a long time to be totally or partially compensated by distributed learning practice. Here we show that contextual fear conditioning impairments due to zinc blockade can be efficiently reduced by distributed learning practice. PMID:24741109
Haase, Claudia M.; Beermann, Ursula; Saslow, Laura R.; Shiota, Michelle N.; Saturn, Sarina R.; Lwi, Sandy J.; Casey, James J.; Nguyen, Nguyen K.; Whalen, Patrick K.; Keltner, Dacher J.; Levenson, Robert W.
The present research examined the effect of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism in the serotonin transporter gene on objectively coded positive emotional expressions (i.e., laughing and smiling behavior objectively coded using the Facial Action Coding System). Three studies with independent samples of participants were conducted. Study 1 examined young adults watching still cartoons. Study 2 examined young, middle-aged, and older adults watching a thematically ambiguous yet subtly amusing film clip. Study 3 examined middle-aged and older spouses discussing an area of marital conflict (which typically produces both positive and negative emotion). Aggregating data across studies, results showed that the short allele of 5-HTTLPR predicted heightened positive emotional expressions. Results remained stable when controlling for age, gender, ethnicity, and depressive symptoms. These findings are consistent with the notion that the short allele of 5-HTTLPR functions as an emotion amplifier, which may confer heightened susceptibility to environmental conditions. PMID:26029940
Chiew, Kimberly S; Braver, Todd S
It is becoming increasingly appreciated that affective and/or motivational influences contribute strongly to goal-oriented cognition and behavior. An unresolved question is whether emotional manipulations (i.e., direct induction of affectively valenced subjective experience) and motivational manipulations (e.g., delivery of performance-contingent rewards and punishments) have similar or distinct effects on cognitive control. Prior work has suggested that reward motivation can reliably enhance a proactive mode of cognitive control, whereas other evidence is suggestive that positive emotion improves cognitive flexibility, but reduces proactive control. However, a limitation of the prior research is that reward motivation and positive emotion have largely been studied independently. Here, we directly compared the effects of positive emotion and reward motivation on cognitive control with a tightly matched, within-subjects design, using the AX-continuous performance task paradigm, which allows for relative measurement of proactive versus reactive cognitive control. High-resolution pupillometry was employed as a secondary measure of cognitive dynamics during task performance. Robust increases in behavioral and pupillometric indices of proactive control were observed with reward motivation. The effects of positive emotion were much weaker, but if anything, also reflected enhancement of proactive control, a pattern that diverges from some prior findings. These results indicate that reward motivation has robust influences on cognitive control, while also highlighting the complexity and heterogeneity of positive-emotion effects. The findings are discussed in terms of potential neurobiological mechanisms.
Lagattuta, Kristin Hansen; Wellman, Henry M
The authors examined whether the quality and content of everyday parent-child conversations about negative emotions are the same or different from everyday talk about positive emotions. Extensive longitudinal speech samples of 6 children and their parents were analyzed for several critical features when the children were between 2 and 5 years of age. Results showed that children and parents talked about past emotions, the causes of emotions, and connections between emotions and other mental states at higher rates during conversations about negative emotions than during conversations about positive emotions. Discourse about negative emotions also included a larger emotion vocabulary, more open-ended questions, and more talk about other people. These differences appeared before the children's 3rd birthdays and remained consistent through the preschool years. The findings strengthen and clarify current understanding of young children's articulation and knowledge about people's minds, lives, and emotions.
Kirkpatrick, Matthew G.; Goldenson, Nicholas I.; Kapadia, Nahel; Kahler, Christopher W.; de Wit, Harriet; Swift, Robert M.; McGeary, John E.; Sussman, Steve; Leventhal, Adam M.
BACKGROUND Previous research on emotional correlates of individual differences in subjective responses to d-amphetamine has focused on relatively broad personality traits. Yet, emotional functioning is best characterized by several narrow subcomponents, each of which may contribute uniquely to amphetamine response. Here, we examine several specific subdomains of emotional functioning in relation to acute amphetamine response. METHOD At a baseline session, healthy stimulant-naïve volunteers (N=97) completed measures of several subdomains of baseline trait emotional functioning, and then completed two counterbalanced experimental sessions during which they received a single dose of 20-mg oral d-amphetamine or placebo. Acute subjective drug response measures were completed at repeated intervals before and after drug administration. Data from subjective measures that were significantly modulated by amphetamine were reduced using principal components analysis (amphetamine – placebo) into three higher-order factors of “Positive Mood,” “Arousal,” and “Drug High.” Amphetamine did not significantly alter any “negative” subjective states. Separate multiple regression analyses were conducted regressing these three drug factors on baseline trait emotional functioning scales. RESULTS The combined set of trait emotional functioning indicators accounted for approximately 22% of the variance in acute amphetamine-induced positive mood changes. Greater anticipatory pleasure and greater anxious distress each uniquely predicted greater amphetamine-induced Positive Mood. Trait emotional functioning did not significantly predict amphetamine-induced changes in Arousal or Drug High. DISCUSSION Emotional traits appear to moderate drug-induced positive mood but not other dimensions of amphetamine effects. Different facets of emotional functioning may differentially modulate amphetamine's subjective effect profile. PMID:26429791
Wolf, Oliver T
The stress-associated activation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis influences memory. Several studies have supported the notion that post-learning stress enhances memory consolidation, while pre-retrieval stress impairs retrieval. Findings regarding the effects of pre-encoding stress, in contrast, have been rather inconsistent. In the current two studies, the impact of an immediate retrieval task on these effects was explored. In the first study, 24 healthy young male participants were exposed to a psychosocial laboratory stressor (Trier Social Stress Test) or a control condition before viewing positive, negative, and neutral photographs, which were accompanied by a brief narrative. Immediate as well as delayed (24 h later) free recall was assessed. Stress was expected to enhance emotional long-term memory without affecting immediate recall performance. Stress caused a significant increase in salivary cortisol concentrations but had no significant effects on immediate or delayed retrieval performance, even though a trend toward poorer memory of the stress group was apparent. Based on these findings, the second experiment tested the hypothesis that the beneficial effects of stress on emotional long-term memory performance might be abolished by an immediate recall test. In the second study (n = 32), the same design was used, except for the omission of the immediate retrieval test. This time stressed participants recalled significantly more negative photographs compared to the control group. The present study indicates that an immediate retrieval attempt of material studied after stress exposure can prevent or even reverse the beneficial effects of pre-encoding stress on emotional long-term memory consolidation.
Shelton, Amy L.; Marchette, Steven A.
Testing spatial memory within the same environment used for learning produces interference between one's immediate representation of current position and the to-be-retrieved position. In a series of 3 experiments, we show that "current position" and its influence on memory performance can be driven by conceptual factors in an ambiguous…
Maroun, Mouna; Wagner, Shlomo
An ever-growing body of evidence suggests that the hypothalamic neuropeptide oxytocin plays a central role in the regulation of mammalian social behavior and relationships. Yet, mammalian social interactions are extremely complex, involving both approach and avoidance behaviors toward specific individuals. While in the past oxytocin was conceived merely as a prosocial molecule that nonselectively facilitated affiliative emotions and behavior, it is now recognized that oxytocin plays a role in a wide range of social relationships, some of which involve negative emotions such as fear, aggression, and envy and lead to avoidance behavior. However, the way by which a single molecule such as oxytocin contributes to contrasting emotions and opposite behaviors is yet to be discovered. Here, we discuss the role of oxytocin in the modulation of emotional memories in rodents, focusing on two paradigms: social recognition and fear conditioning, representing approach and avoidance behaviors, respectively. We review recent pioneering studies that address the complex effects of oxytocin in a mechanistic approach, using genetic animal models and brain region-specific manipulations of oxytocin activity. These studies suggest that the multiple roles of oxytocin in social and fear behavior are due to its local effects in various brain areas, most notably distinct regions of the amygdala. Finally, we propose a model explaining some of the contradictory effects of oxytocin as products of the balance between two networks in the amygdala that are controlled by the medial prefrontal cortex.
daSilva, Elizabeth B; Crager, Kirsten; Puce, Aina
Providing evidence for categorical theories of emotion mandates the inclusion of discrete emotion categories beyond the typical six "basic" emotions. Traditional neurophysiological investigations of emotion typically feature the six basic emotions with happiness as the lone positive exemplar. Here we studied how event-related potentials (ERPs) might differentiate between two positive emotional expressions: happiness and pride, and if so, at what time interval. Furthermore, given divergent findings in the ERP literature with respect to viewing emotional expressions, we explicitly examined how task type modulates neurophysiological responses when the same stimuli are viewed. While a continuous electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded, 20 healthy participants completed two tasks: an implicit task where participants judged whether or not a face featured a brown spot (freckle), and an explicit task where they judged the face as portraying a "happy," "proud," or "neutral" expression. Behavioral performance exceeded 90% accuracy on both tasks. In the explicit task, participants responded faster and more accurately for Happy compared to Proud and Neutral expressions. Neurophysiologically, amplitudes for N170, VPP and P250 ERPs differentiated emotional from neutral expressions, but not from each other. In contrast, the late SPW component significantly differentiated Happy and Proud expressions from each other. Moreover, main effects of Task were found for the VPP, P250, LPP and SPW; additionally, Emotion X Task interactions were observed for P250 and SPW. Our data stress that task demands may magnify or diminish neural processing differences between emotion categories, which therefore cannot be disentangled with a single experimental paradigm. Additionally, some ERP differences may also reflect variations in categorization difficulty.
Zhang, Qin; Zhang, Jibiao
In this study, we used the broaden-and-build theory and emotional response theory as the framework to examine the effects of instructors' positive emotions on student engagement and critical thinking in U.S. and Chinese classrooms, as well as the mediating role of students' positive emotions in their relationships. MANOVA results revealed no…
Demirakca, Traute; Herbert, Cornelia; Kissler, Johanna; Ruf, Matthias; Wokrina, Tim; Ende, Gabriele
Comparison of positive and negative naturally read adjectives to neutral adjectives yielded an overlapping higher BOLD response in the occipital and the orbitofrontal cortex (gyrus rectus). Superior medial frontal gyrus and posterior cingulate gyrus showed higher BOLD response to negative adjectives and inferior frontal gyrus to positive adjectives. The overlap of activated regions and lack of pronounced distinct regions supports the assumption that the processing of negative and positive words mainly takes place in overlapping brain regions.
Leal, Stephanie L; Noche, Jessica A; Murray, Elizabeth A; Yassa, Michael A
While aging is generally associated with episodic memory decline, not all older adults exhibit memory loss. Furthermore, emotional memories are not subject to the same extent of forgetting and appear preserved in aging. We conducted high-resolution fMRI during a task involving pattern separation of emotional information in older adults with and without age-related memory impairment (characterized by performance on a word-list learning task: low performers: LP vs. high performers: HP). We found signals consistent with emotional pattern separation in hippocampal dentate (DG)/CA3 in HP but not in LP individuals, suggesting a deficit in emotional pattern separation. During false recognition, we found increased DG/CA3 activity in LP individuals, suggesting that hyperactivity may be associated with overgeneralization. We additionally observed a selective deficit in basolateral amygdala-lateral entorhinal cortex-DG/CA3 functional connectivity in LP individuals during pattern separation of negative information. During negative false recognition, LP individuals showed increased medial temporal lobe functional connectivity, consistent with overgeneralization. Overall, these results suggest a novel mechanistic account of individual differences in emotional memory alterations exhibited in aging.
Cassotti, Mathieu; Habib, Marianne; Poirel, Nicolas; Aïte, Ania; Houdé, Olivier; Moutier, Sylvain
Dual-process theories have suggested that emotion plays a key role in the framing effect in decision-making. However, little is known about the potential impact of a specific positive or negative emotional context on this bias. We investigated this question with adult participants using an emotional priming paradigm. First, participants were presented with positive or negative affective pictures (i.e., pleasant vs. unpleasant photographs). Afterward, participants had to perform a financial decision-making task that was unrelated to the pictures previously presented. The results revealed that the presentation framed in terms of gain or loss no longer affected subjects' decision-making following specific exposure to emotionally pleasant pictures. Interestingly, a positive emotional context did not globally influence risk-taking behavior but specifically decreased the risk propensity in the loss frame. This finding confirmed that a positive emotional context can reduce loss aversion, and it strongly reinforced the dual-process view that the framing effect stems from an affective heuristic belonging to intuitive System 1.
Greening, Steven G; Osuch, Elizabeth A; Williamson, Peter C; Mitchell, Derek G V
Depressive cognitive schemas play an important role in the emergence and persistence of major depressive disorder (MDD). The current study adapted emotion regulation techniques to reflect elements of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and related psychotherapies to delineate neurocognitive abnormalities associated with modulating the negative cognitive style in MDD. Nineteen non-medicated patients with MDD and 19 matched controls reduced negative or enhanced positive feelings elicited by emotional scenes while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging. Although both groups showed significant emotion regulation success as measured by subjective ratings of affect, the controls were significantly better at modulating both negative and positive emotion. Both groups recruited regions of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) when regulating negative emotions. Only in controls was this accompanied by reduced activity in sensory cortices and amygdala. Similarly, both groups showed enhanced activity in VLPFC and ventral striatum when enhancing positive affect; however, only in controls was ventral striatum activity correlated with regulation efficacy. The results suggest that depression is associated with both a reduced capacity to achieve relief from negative affect despite recruitment of ventral and dorsal prefrontal cortical regions implicated in emotion regulation, coupled with a disconnect between activity in reward-related regions and subjective positive affect.
Speed, Brittany C; Nelson, Brady D; Perlman, Greg; Klein, Daniel N; Kotov, Roman; Hajcak, Greg
Neuroticism and extraversion are multifaceted affective-laden personality traits that have been associated with major depressive disorder (MDD). Research and theory have argued that extraversion, and particularly its facet positive emotionality, is specific to MDD, while neuroticism is common across internalizing disorders. Converging evidence has suggested that MDD is associated with reduced engagement with emotional stimuli, but it remains unclear whether either extraversion, neuroticism, or both modulate reactivity to emotional cues. The late positive potential (LPP) is an event-related brain potential that is uniquely suited to assess engagement with emotional stimuli because it reflects sustained attention toward emotional content. The current study examined the LPP in relation to personality traits that may confer risk for depression by examining the relationship between the LPP and both neuroticism and extraversion in never-depressed adolescent girls. Specifically, 550 girls aged 13.5-15.5 with no lifetime history of depression completed an emotional picture-viewing task, and the LPP was measured in response to neutral, pleasant, and unpleasant pictures. Personality traits were gathered via self- and informant report. Results indicated that high extraversion was associated with a potentiated LPP to emotional pictures-and this effect was accounted for by positive emotionality in particular. In contrast, there was no association between the LPP and neuroticism or its facets. The present study is one of the first to demonstrate that extraversion is associated with variation in neural indices of emotional picture processing, similar to what has been observed among individuals with depression and at high risk for depression.
Moret-Tatay, Carmen; Moreno-Cid, Amparo; Argimon, Irani Iracema de Lima; Quarti Irigaray, Tatiana; Szczerbinski, Marcin; Murphy, Mike; Vázquez-Martínez, Andrea; Vázquez-Molina, Joan; Sáiz-Mauleón, Begoña; Navarro-Pardo, Esperanza; Fernández de Córdoba Castellá, Pedro
The aim of this work was to study the effects of valence and age on visual image recognition memory. The International Affective Picture System (IAPS) battery was used, and response time data were analyzed using analysis of variance, as well as an ex-Gaussian fit method. Older participants were slower and more variable in their reaction times. Response times were longer for negative valence pictures, however this was statistically significant only for young participants. This suggests that negative emotional valence has a strong effect on recognition memory in young but not in old participants. The τ parameter, often related to attention in the literature, was smaller for young than old participants in an ex-Gaussian fit. Differences on the τ parameter might suggest poorer attentional performance in old participants.
Debbane, Martin; Van der Linden, Martial; Gex-Fabry, Marianne; Eliez, Stephan
Background: Sub-clinical symptoms of psychosis such as hallucinations and delusions, known as positive schizotypy, constitute one of the strongest predictive factors for adult psychotic disorders. Recent cognitive models suggest that the expression of positive schizotypy is associated with depression, anxiety, metacognitive beliefs and…
Bonnet, Louise; Comte, Alexandre; Tatu, Laurent; Millot, Jean-Louis; Moulin, Thierry; Medeiros de Bustos, Elisabeth
The specific role of the amygdala remains controversial even though the development of functional imaging techniques has established its implication in the emotional process. The aim of this study was to highlight the sensitivity of the amygdala to emotional intensity (arousal). We conducted an analysis of the modulation of amygdala activation according to variation in emotional intensity via an fMRI event-related protocol. Monitoring of electrodermal activity, a marker of psychophysiological emotional perception and a reflection of the activation of the autonomic nervous system, was carried out concurrently. Eighteen subjects (10 men; aged from 22 to 29 years) looked at emotionally positive photographs. We demonstrated that the left and right amygdalae were sensitive to changes in emotional intensity, activating more in response to stimuli with higher intensity. Furthermore, electrodermal responses were more frequent for the most intense stimuli, demonstrating the concomitant activation of the autonomic nervous system. These results highlight the sensitivity of the amygdala to the intensity of positively valenced visual stimuli, and in conjunction with results in the literature on negative emotions, reinforce the role of the amygdala in the perception of intensity. PMID:26217205
Fredrickson, Barbara L.; Branigan, Christine
The broaden-and-build theory (Fredrickson, 1998, 2001) hypothesises that positive emotions broaden the scope of attention and thought-action repertoires. Two experiments with 104 college students tested these hypotheses. In each, participants viewed a film that elicited (a) amusement, (b) contentment, (c) neutrality, (d) anger, or (e) anxiety. Scope of attention was assessed using a global-local visual processing task (Experiment 1) and thought-action repertoires were assessed using a Twenty Statements Test (Experiment 2). Compared to a neutral state, positive emotions broadened the scope of attention in Experiment 1 and thought-action repertoires in Experiment 2. In Experiment 2, negative emotions, relative to a neutral state, narrowed thought-action repertoires. Implications for promoting emotional well-being and physical health are discussed. PMID:21852891
Salminen, Mikko; Ravaja, Niklas
Performance review discussions of real manager–subordinate pairs were examined in two studies to investigate the effects of trait emotional intelligence (EI) on dyad member’s felt and expressed emotions. Altogether there were 84 managers and 122 subordinates in two studies using 360 measured and self-reported trait EI. Facial electromyography, and frontal electroencephalography (EEG) asymmetry were collected continuously. Manager’s high trait EI was related to increased positive valence emotional facial expressions in the dyad during the discussions. The managers also had more EEG frontal asymmetry indicating approach motivation, than the subordinates. In addition, actor and partner effects and actor × partner interactions, and interactions between the role and actor or partner effect of trait EI were observed. Both actor and partner trait EI were related to more positive self-reported emotional valence. The results imply that trait EI has a role in organizational social interaction.
Duque, Aránzazu; Vinader-Caerols, Concepción
We have previously observed the impairing effects of chronic social defeat stress (CSDS) on emotional memory in mice. Given the relation between stress and inflammatory processes, we sought to study the effectiveness of the anti-inflammatory indomethacin in reversing the detrimental effects of CSDS on emotional memory in mice. The effects of CSDS and indomethacin on recognition memory were also evaluated. Male CD1 mice were randomly divided into four groups: non-stressed + saline (NS+SAL); non-stressed + indomethacin (NS+IND); stressed + saline (S+SAL); and stressed + indomethacin (S+IND). Stressed animals were exposed to a daily 10 min agonistic confrontation (CSDS) for 20 days. All subjects were treated daily with saline or indomethacin (10 mg/kg, i.p.). 24 h after the CSDS period, all the mice were evaluated in a social interaction test to distinguish between those that were resilient or susceptible to social stress. All subjects (n = 10–12 per group) were then evaluated in inhibitory avoidance (IA), novel object recognition (NOR), elevated plus maze and hot plate tests. As in control animals (NS+SAL group), IA learning was observed in the resilient groups, as well as in the susceptible mice treated with indomethacin (S+IND group). Recognition memory was observed in the non-stressed and the resilient mice, but not in the susceptible animals. Also, stressed mice exhibited higher anxiety levels. No significant differences were observed in locomotor activity or analgesia. In conclusion, CSDS induces anxiety in post-pubertal mice and impairs emotional and recognition memory in the susceptible subjects. The effects of CSDS on emotional memory, but not on recognition memory and anxiety, are reversed by indomethacin. Moreover, memory impairment is not secondary to the effects of CSDS on locomotor activity, emotionality or pain sensitivity. PMID:28278165
Dunsmore, Julie C.; Halberstadt, Amy G.; Eaton, Kimberly L.; Robinson, Megan L.
Mothers (N = 67) taught their preschool children crafts while varying emotional expressions (delight, irritation). Mothers' typical expressive styles were assessed by questionnaire. After three weeks, children's memory was assessed with a free-recall interview followed by re-enactment of craft-making with an interviewer. Children of mothers high…
Mano, Quintino R.; Brown, Gregory G.; Bolden, Khalima; Aupperle, Robin; Sullivan, Sarah; Paulus, Martin P.; Stein, Murray B.
Accumulating evidence suggests that working memory load is an important factor for the interplay between cognitive and facial-affective processing. However, it is unclear how distraction caused by perception of faces interacts with load-related performance. We developed a modified version of the delayed match-to-sample task wherein task-irrelevant facial distracters were presented early in the rehearsal of pseudoword memoranda that varied incrementally in load size (1-syllable, 2-syllables, or 3-syllables). Facial distracters displayed happy, sad, or neutral expressions in Experiment 1 (N=60) and happy, fearful, or neutral expressions in Experiment 2 (N=29). Facial distracters significantly disrupted task performance in the intermediate load condition (2-syllable) but not in the low or high load conditions (1- and 3-syllables, respectively), an interaction replicated and generalised in Experiment 2. All facial distracters disrupted working memory in the intermediate load condition irrespective of valence, suggesting a primary and general effect of distraction caused by faces. However, sad and fearful faces tended to be less disruptive than happy faces, suggesting a secondary and specific valence effect. Working memory appears to be most vulnerable to social-emotional information at intermediate loads. At low loads, spare capacity is capable of accommodating the combinatorial load (1-syllable plus facial distracter), whereas high loads maximised capacity and deprived facial stimuli from occupying working memory slots to cause disruption. PMID:22928750
The influence of positive emotions on the balance between cognitive stability and flexibility has been suggested to (a) differ among various positive emotional/motivational states (e.g., of varying approach motivation intensity), and (b) be mediated by brain dopamine (DA). Frontal EEG alpha asymmetry (ASY) is considered an indicator of approach motivational states and may be modulated by DA. The personality trait of extraversion is strongly linked to positive emotions and is now thought to reflect DA-based individual differences in incentive/approach motivation. The present study independently manipulated positive emotion (high approach wanting-expectancy [WE] vs. low approach warmth-liking [WL]) and dopamine (placebo vs. DA D2 blocker sulpiride) to examine their effects on both cognitive stability-flexibility and emotion-related ASY changes. The results showed numerically lower stability-flexibility in WE versus WL under placebo and a complete reversal of this effect under the D2 blocker, no differentiation between WE and WL groups in terms of emotion-related ASY change, but an association between self-reported WE and WL and ASY changes toward left and right frontal cortical activity, respectively. Finally, extraversion was positively associated with both stability-flexibility and ASY changes toward left frontal cortical activity under placebo, and these associations were completely reversed under the D2 blocker. The results (a) support a dopaminergic basis for frontal EEG asymmetry, extraversion, and the modulating effect of positive emotions on stability-flexibility, and (b) extend previous reports of cognitive differences between introverts and extraverts.
Proctor, Helen S; Carder, Gemma
Insight into the emotional lives of animals is of utmost importance to the welfare of the billions of animals in our care, yet little is known about how to measure these states. Scientific understanding of how to measure and interpret positive emotional states is particularly lacking, although recent years have seen a notable increase in such studies. This study explored whether the percentage of visible eye whites is a valid measure of a low arousal, positive emotional state in dairy cows (Bos taurus), by using stroking as the positive stimulus. Thirteen dairy cows were studied over a period of two months, and a total of 372 full 15minute focal observations were performed. Each focal observation comprised three 5minute phases: pre-stroking (baseline), stroking (stimulus), and post-stroking (post-stimulus), and the focal cow's behaviours were recorded throughout each observation, and the focal eye was filmed for later analysis. Following data collection we calculated the percentage of visible eye white at nine pre-determined measurement points throughout each focal observation. The eye white data were analysed using the one-way repeated measures ANOVA test. The percentage of visible eye white dropped during stroking compared with during both the pre-stroking and post-stroking phases (ANOVA: F1.242, 14.9=4.32, P=0.025). The behaviours were analysed using Friedman's ANOVA and Wilcoxon's signed-rank test. Behaviours known to be associated with positive emotions in cows were performed during the stroking phase of the focal observation, supporting the use of stroking as a stimulus to induce a positive, low arousal emotional state. This study has explored the potential of visible eye whites as a measure of positive emotions and arousal, and our results support previous studies which suggest that eye whites may serve as a dynamic measure of emotion and arousal.
Zoladz, Phillip R; Clark, Brianne; Warnecke, Ashlee; Smith, Lindsay; Tabar, Jennifer; Talbot, Jeffery N
Stress exerts a profound, yet complex, influence on learning and memory and can enhance, impair or have no effect on these processes. Here, we have examined how the administration of stress at different times before learning affects long-term (24-hr) memory for neutral and emotional information. Participants submerged their dominant hand into a bath of ice cold water (Stress) or into a bath of warm water (No stress) for 3 min. Either immediately (Exp. 1) or 30 min (Exp. 2) after the water bath manipulation, participants were presented with a list of 30 words varying in emotional valence. The next day, participants' memory for the word list was assessed via free recall and recognition tests. In both experiments, stressed participants exhibited greater blood pressure, salivary cortisol levels, and subjective pain and stress ratings than non-stressed participants in response to the water bath manipulation. Stress applied immediately prior to learning (Exp. 1) enhanced the recognition of positive words, while stress applied 30 min prior to learning (Exp. 2) impaired free recall of negative words. Participants' recognition of positive words in Experiment 1 was positively associated with their heart rate responses to the water bath manipulation, while participants' free recall of negative words in Experiment 2 was negatively associated with their blood pressure and cortisol responses to the water bath manipulation. These findings indicate that the differential effects of pre-learning stress on long-term memory may depend on the temporal proximity of the stressor to the learning experience and the emotional nature of the to-be-learned information.
This study investigated whether and how visual representations of individual objects are bound in memory to scene context. Participants viewed a series of naturalistic scenes, and memory for the visual form of a target object in each scene was examined in a 2-alternative forced-choice test, with the distractor object either a different object…
Geangu, Elena; Hauf, Petra; Bhardwaj, Rishi; Bentz, Wolfram
It has been suggested that infants resonate emotionally to others' positive and negative affect displays, and that these responses become stronger towards emotions with negative valence around the age of 12-months. In this study we measured 6- and 12-month-old infants' changes in pupil diameter when presented with the image and sound of peers experiencing happiness, distress and an emotionally neutral state. For all participants the perception of another's distress triggered larger pupil diameters. Perceiving other's happiness also induced larger pupil diameters but for shorter time intervals. Importantly, we also found evidence for an asymmetry in autonomous arousal towards positive versus negative emotional displays. Larger pupil sizes for another's distress compared to another's happiness were recorded shortly after stimulus onset for the older infants, and in a later time window for the 6-month-olds. These findings suggest that arousal responses for negative as well as for positive emotions are present in the second half of the first postnatal year. Importantly, an asymmetry with stronger responses for negative emotions seems to be already present at this age. PMID:22110605
Nemeth, Viola L.; Csete, Gergo; Drotos, Gergely; Greminger, Nora; Janka, Zoltan; Vecsei, Laszlo; Must, Anita
Background: Episodic memory disturbances were found to constitute a potential trait marker for major depression (MD). The recall of positive or rewarding information in a relational context is specifically impaired. Eye-movement recording constitutes a novel, direct approach to examine implicit memory performance. Here we aimed to assess the effect of emotional context and implicit virtual monetary reward or loss on viewing patterns in association with relational memory in a 6-months follow-up study in MD. Materials and Methods: Twenty-eight patients with MD and 30 healthy participants were trained to associate a face (happy/sad/neutral) with a background scene. After each pair a virtual monetary reward or loss appeared briefly. During testing, scenes were presented as a cue and then overlaid with three previously studied faces. Participants were asked to recall the matching face if present (Match trials), with eye-movements and subsequent forced-choice recognition being recorded. Results: Explicit recognition of the matching face was impaired in the MD group as compared to controls. In correlation with this, viewing of the matching face was significantly reduced in the MD group. We found a significant interaction of group (MD vs HC) with the relational memory condition (Match and Non-match), facial emotion and monetary reward and loss. MD patients attended longer to previously rewarded stimuli, but significantly less to sad faces in the Match condition. The relational memory impairment persisted at follow-up and correlated with symptom severity both at baseline and follow-up. Viewing patterns associated with previous virtual reward were associated with clinical symptoms at follow-up. Conclusion: Our current results provide novel evidence for a specific relational memory impairment in MD as supported by abnormal eye-movement behavior and a deficit in explicit recognition. MD patients showed an attentional bias to rewarded stimuli and decreased viewing of sad faces
Nemeth, Viola L; Csete, Gergo; Drotos, Gergely; Greminger, Nora; Janka, Zoltan; Vecsei, Laszlo; Must, Anita
Background: Episodic memory disturbances were found to constitute a potential trait marker for major depression (MD). The recall of positive or rewarding information in a relational context is specifically impaired. Eye-movement recording constitutes a novel, direct approach to examine implicit memory performance. Here we aimed to assess the effect of emotional context and implicit virtual monetary reward or loss on viewing patterns in association with relational memory in a 6-months follow-up study in MD. Materials and Methods: Twenty-eight patients with MD and 30 healthy participants were trained to associate a face (happy/sad/neutral) with a background scene. After each pair a virtual monetary reward or loss appeared briefly. During testing, scenes were presented as a cue and then overlaid with three previously studied faces. Participants were asked to recall the matching face if present (Match trials), with eye-movements and subsequent forced-choice recognition being recorded. Results: Explicit recognition of the matching face was impaired in the MD group as compared to controls. In correlation with this, viewing of the matching face was significantly reduced in the MD group. We found a significant interaction of group (MD vs HC) with the relational memory condition (Match and Non-match), facial emotion and monetary reward and loss. MD patients attended longer to previously rewarded stimuli, but significantly less to sad faces in the Match condition. The relational memory impairment persisted at follow-up and correlated with symptom severity both at baseline and follow-up. Viewing patterns associated with previous virtual reward were associated with clinical symptoms at follow-up. Conclusion: Our current results provide novel eviden