The impact of stress on neutral and emotional aspects of episodic memory

Jessica D. Payne, Eric D. Jackson, T Lee Ryan, Siobhan Hoscheidt, William J Jacobs, Lynn Nadel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

139 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The present experiment demonstrates that exposure to a significant psychological stressor (administered before watching a slide show) preserves or even enhances memory for emotional aspects of an event, and simultaneously disrupts memory for non-emotional aspects of the same event. Stress exposure also disrupted memory for information that was visually and thematically central to the event depicted in the slide show. Memory for peripheral information, on the other hand, was unaffected by stress. These results are consistent with theories invoking differential effects of stress on brain systems responsible for encoding and retrieving emotional memories (the amygdala) and non-emotional memories (e.g., the hippocampal formation), and inconsistent with the view that memories formed under high levels of stress are qualitatively the same as those formed under ordinary emotional circumstances. These data, which are also consistent with results obtained in a number of studies using animals and humans, have implications for the traumatic memory debate and theories regarding human memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalMemory
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2006

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Episodic Memory
Emotion
Amygdala
Hippocampus
Psychology
Brain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

Cite this

The impact of stress on neutral and emotional aspects of episodic memory. / Payne, Jessica D.; Jackson, Eric D.; Ryan, T Lee; Hoscheidt, Siobhan; Jacobs, William J; Nadel, Lynn.

In: Memory, Vol. 14, No. 1, 01.2006, p. 1-16.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Payne, Jessica D. ; Jackson, Eric D. ; Ryan, T Lee ; Hoscheidt, Siobhan ; Jacobs, William J ; Nadel, Lynn. / The impact of stress on neutral and emotional aspects of episodic memory. In: Memory. 2006 ; Vol. 14, No. 1. pp. 1-16.
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