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How Emotion Strengthens the Recollective Experience: A Time-Dependent Hippocampal Process

Sharot, T; Verfaellie, M; Yonelinas, AP; (2007) How Emotion Strengthens the Recollective Experience: A Time-Dependent Hippocampal Process. PLOS ONE , 2 (10) , Article e1068. 10.1371/journal.pone.0001068. Green open access

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Abstract

Emotion significantly strengthens the subjective recollective experience even when objective accuracy of the memory is not improved. Here, we examine if this modulation is related to the effect of emotion on hippocampal-dependent memory consolidation. Two critical predictions follow from this hypothesis. First, since consolidation is assumed to take time, the enhancement in the recollective experience for emotional compared to neutral memories should become more apparent following a delay. Second, if the emotion advantage is critically dependent on the hippocampus, then the effects should be reduced in amnesic patients with hippocampal damage. To test these predictions we examined the recollective experience for emotional and neutral photos at two retention intervals (Experiment 1), and in amnesics and controls (Experiment 2). Emotional memories were associated with an enhancement in the recollective experience that was greatest after a delay, whereas familiarity was not influenced by emotion. In amnesics with hippocampal damage the emotion effect on recollective experience was reduced. Surprisingly, however, these patients still showed a general memory advantage for emotional compared to neutral items, but this effect was manifest primarily as a facilitation of familiarity. The results support the consolidation hypothesis of recollective experience, but suggest that the effects of emotion on episodic memory are not exclusively hippocampally mediated. Rather, emotion may enhance recognition by facilitating familiarity when recollection is impaired due to hippocampal damage.

Type: Article
Title: How Emotion Strengthens the Recollective Experience: A Time-Dependent Hippocampal Process
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0001068
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0001068
Language: English
Additional information: © 2007 Sharot et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. This study was supported by grant MH059352 to APY, NH57681 to MV, and the Margaret and Herman Sokol Postdcotoral Fellowship to TS.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1334679
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