The Potentiation of Associative Memory by Emotions: An Event-Related FMRI Study

David Luck, Marie-Eve Leclerc, Martin Lepage
2014 Advances in Neuroscience  
Establishing associations between pieces of information is related to the medial temporal lobe (MTL). However, it remains unclear how emotions affect memory for associations and, consequently, MTL activity. Thus, this event-related fMRI study attempted to identify neural correlates of the influence of positive and negative emotions on associative memory. Twenty-five participants were instructed to memorize 90 pairs of standardized pictures during a scanned encoding phase. Each pair was composed
more » ... of a scene and an unrelated object. Trials were neutral, positive, or negative as a function of the emotional valence of the scene. At the behavioral level, participants exhibited better memory retrieval for both emotional conditions relative to neutral trials. Within the right MTL, a functional dissociation was observed, with entorhinal activation elicited by emotional associations, posterior parahippocampal activation elicited by neutral associations, and hippocampal activation elicited by both emotional and neutral associations. In addition, emotional associations induced greater activation than neutral trials in the right amygdala. This fMRI study shows that emotions are associated with the performance improvement of associative memory, by enhancing activity in the right amygdala and the right entorhinal cortex. It also provides evidence for a rostrocaudal specialization within the MTL regarding the emotional valence of associations.
doi:10.1155/2014/964024 fatcat:7kvrd23dovf4xnotvzq2v2avkq