Emotion Can Live Longer Than Memory

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Emotion acts strongly on memory at all points of the memory cycle – at encoding, consolidation and retrieval. Emotion acts on memory in various ways, including the production of stress hormones, use of working memory capacity, and involvement of particular brain regions.

The relationship between emotion and memory

Researches show that emotional stimuli and ‘memory functions’ move in parallel streams through the brain before being integrated in a specific part of the brain’s prefrontal cortex (the anterior cingulate). That is why emotional stimuli are more likely than simple distractions to interfere with concentration on a task such as driving.

Emotions live longer and can be used for memory-defect patients

1) Emotions affect even the people with amnesia. Negative and positive feelings associated with experiences have stronger impressions and linger for people with amnesia even after the memory of the event is erased.

2) Study by ‘A Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’ reports that emotion has implications on patients with Alzheimer’s.

3) Another study shows that memories are triggered by emotions. Some patients with memory loss were shown clippings of happy and sad movies. Though those patients forgot what they had watched, they were able to retain the emotions triggered by those movie clips.

4) Further these studies show that sadness and happiness lasted well beyond the patient’s memory. Between these two, sadness tended to last memory longer than the happy ones.

5) Latest researches suggest that it is the emotions aroused, and not the personal significance of the event, that can make events easier to be remembered.

6) Researches have shown that the most vivid autobiographical memories tend to be of emotional events, which are likely to be recalled more often and with more clarity and detail than neutral events of their lives.

7) The memories of strongly emotional images and events may be remembered more than the less emotional images. Thus, you may be less likely to remember information if it is followed by something that is strongly emotional. This effect seems to be stronger for women.

8) Emotions can be evoked, or minimized, by displaying or suppressing expressions of emotion through which memories can be revoked. They have the power of inducing memories. This property Memory is closely connected with emotions. You can remember emotionally charged events better than boring ones. Emotions play an important role in retaining can successfully used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s patients. 

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