How emotion enhances the feeling of remembering

Tali Sharot, Mauricio R. Delgado, Elizabeth A. Phelps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Studies examining memories of arousing 'real-life' events show that emotion heightens the feeling of remembering, without necessarily enhancing the objective accuracy of the memories. We measured brain activity associated with the feeling of remembering emotional and neutral photos. Subjects indicated whether recognition was accompanied by a recollection of details about the study episode ('remember') or not ('know'). 'Remember' judgments were boosted for emotional photos, but accuracy did not differ. For neutral photos, 'remember' judgments were related to enhanced activity in the parahippocampal cortex, previously related to recognition of visual details, which one might expect to supply the retrieval clues for a 'remember' judgment. In contrast, 'remember' judgments for emotional photos were associated with enhanced activity in the amygdala, suggesting that subjects rely on arousal and perceptual fluency to evaluate these memories. For the first time, we identify the neural mechanisms underlying the enhanced feeling of remembering for emotional events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1376-1380
Number of pages5
JournalNature Neuroscience
Volume7
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2004

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Emotions
Arousal
Amygdala
Brain
Recognition (Psychology)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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How emotion enhances the feeling of remembering. / Sharot, Tali; Delgado, Mauricio R.; Phelps, Elizabeth A.

In: Nature Neuroscience, Vol. 7, No. 12, 12.2004, p. 1376-1380.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sharot, Tali ; Delgado, Mauricio R. ; Phelps, Elizabeth A. / How emotion enhances the feeling of remembering. In: Nature Neuroscience. 2004 ; Vol. 7, No. 12. pp. 1376-1380.
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