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Prog Brain Res. 2008;167:79-97.

Adrenal stress hormones, amygdala activation, and memory for emotionally arousing experiences.

Author information

  • 1Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-3800, USA. broozend@uci.edu

Abstract

Extensive evidence indicates that stress hormones released from the adrenal glands are critically involved in memory consolidation of emotionally arousing experiences. Epinephrine or glucocorticoids administered after exposure to emotionally arousing experiences enhance the consolidation of long-term memories of these experiences. Our findings indicate that adrenal stress hormones influence memory consolidation via interactions with arousal-induced activation of noradrenergic mechanisms within the amygdala. In turn, the amygdala regulates memory consolidation via its efferent projections to many other brain regions. In contrast to the enhancing effects on consolidation, high circulating levels of stress hormones impair memory retrieval and working memory. Such effects also require noradrenergic activation of the amygdala and interactions with other brain regions.

PMID:
18037008
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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