Interplay between affect and arousal in recognition memory
Greene, Ciara M.
- Publisher: Public Library of Science
(issn: 1932-6203, eissn: 1932-6203)
Q | R | Research Article | Memory | Emotional states | Neuroscience/Behavioral Neuroscience | Science | Neuroscience/Animal Cognition | Medicine | Neuroscience/Cognitive Neuroscience
mesheuropmc: behavioral disciplines and activities | mental disorders
Background: Emotional states linked to arousal and mood are known to affect the efficiency of cognitive performance. However, the extent to which memory processes may be affected by arousal, mood or their interaction is poorly understood. Methodology/Principal Findings: Following a study phase of abstract shapes, we altered the emotional state of participants by means of exposure to music that varied in both mood and arousal dimensions, leading to four different emotional states: (i) positive mood-high arousal; (ii) positive mood-low arousal; (iii) negative mood-high arousal; (iv) negative mood-low arousal. Following the emotional induction, participants performed a memory recognition test. Critically, there was an interaction between mood and arousal on recognition performance. Memory was enhanced in the positive mood-high arousal and in the negative mood-low arousal states, relative to the other emotional conditions. Conclusions/Significance: Neither mood nor arousal alone but their interaction appears most critical to understanding the emotional enhancement of memory.