Psychological and pharmacological studies in humans suggest that emotional arousal enhances long-term memory. In this paper we used, in an Italian sample, an adaptation of a paradigm previously utilized in American samples to study the relationship between emotion and long-term memory. Seventy-two healthy adults from different educational backgrounds were randomly assigned either to a neutral group or to an emotional arousal group and then told a short story, presented audio-visually. In both groups, the slides shown and the slide sequence were the same, and the images were accompanied by a narrative. The two versions of the story differed primarily in their emotional content. Shortly after viewing the slide presentation, the participants were asked to rate the emotionality of the narrative, and ten days later were submitted to a retention test. The emotionally-arousing version of the story was rated as more emotional than the neutral one. Compared with the members of the neutral group, the subjects in the arousal group recalled a significantly higher number of elements from the story. There was no overall difference between the two groups in performance on the recognition memory test. These results confirm that the emotional content of stimuli enhances long-term declarative memory of those stimuli, and indicate the possible usefulness of applying the paradigm utilized in this study to different clinical samples from various cultural backgrounds.

Declarative memory retention and emotional stimuli: a study conducted on an Italian sample

GASBARRI, Antonella;
2005

Abstract

Psychological and pharmacological studies in humans suggest that emotional arousal enhances long-term memory. In this paper we used, in an Italian sample, an adaptation of a paradigm previously utilized in American samples to study the relationship between emotion and long-term memory. Seventy-two healthy adults from different educational backgrounds were randomly assigned either to a neutral group or to an emotional arousal group and then told a short story, presented audio-visually. In both groups, the slides shown and the slide sequence were the same, and the images were accompanied by a narrative. The two versions of the story differed primarily in their emotional content. Shortly after viewing the slide presentation, the participants were asked to rate the emotionality of the narrative, and ten days later were submitted to a retention test. The emotionally-arousing version of the story was rated as more emotional than the neutral one. Compared with the members of the neutral group, the subjects in the arousal group recalled a significantly higher number of elements from the story. There was no overall difference between the two groups in performance on the recognition memory test. These results confirm that the emotional content of stimuli enhances long-term declarative memory of those stimuli, and indicate the possible usefulness of applying the paradigm utilized in this study to different clinical samples from various cultural backgrounds.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/13532
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