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Cogn Emot. 2014;28(2):361-74. doi: 10.1080/02699931.2013.822346. Epub 2013 Jul 30.

Does stress enhance or impair memory consolidation?

Author information

1
a Social Sciences Division , Pepperdine University , Malibu , CA , USA.

Abstract

Three experiments examined the hypothesis that stress-induced arousal enhances long-term memory for experiences associated with arousing events. Contrary to expectations, in each experiment exposure to a stressor (arm immersion in ice water) interfered with, rather than enhanced, long-term memory for associated material. Despite varying the stimuli (words, pictures), their emotional value (positive, negative, neutral), the time between learning and stress inductions (0 to 1 minute), and opportunities for post-learning rehearsal, each experiment produced a significant reversal of the hypothesised effect. That is, in each experiment, exposure to a stressor interfered with, rather than enhanced, long-term memory for associated material. We conclude that the relationship between stress and memory consolidation is more bounded than previously believed.

PMID:
23895111
PMCID:
PMC4096032
DOI:
10.1080/02699931.2013.822346
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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