Retrieved-context theory of memory in emotional disorders [article]

Rivka T. Cohen, Michael J. Kahana
2019 bioRxiv   pre-print
Learning and memory play a central role in psychopathology, particularly in depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. We present a new, transdiagnostic theory of how memory and mood interact in emotional disorders. Drawing upon retrieved-context models of episodic memory, we propose that memories form associations with the contexts in which they are encoded, including emotional valence and arousal. Later, encountering contextual cues retrieves their associated memories, which in turn
more » ... ate the context that was present during encoding. We first show how our retrieved-context model accounts for findings regarding the organization of emotional memories in list-learning experiments. We then show how this model predicts clinical phenomena, including persistent negative mood after chronic stressors, intrusive memories of painful events, and the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapies.
doi:10.1101/817486 fatcat:lfs7tzqikvfsdefg2wkg4oroma