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Are multiple types of associative memory differently impacted by emotion?

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de Montpellier, Emilie 


The effect of emotion on associative memory is still an open question. Our aim was to test whether discrepant findings are due to differential impact of emotion on different types of associative memory or to differences in the way participants encoded stimuli across studies. We examined the effect of negative content on multiple forms of associative memory, using the same encoding task. Two registered experiments were conducted in parallel with random allocation of participants to experiments. Each experiment included 4 encoding blocks, in which participants read a neutral text comprised of 6 paragraphs, which were interleaved with neutral or negative images. Images were controlled for visual properties and semantic similarity. Memory tests included recognition memory, Remember/Know, order memory, temporal source memory and contextual memory. Analyses showed that emotion decreased contextual memory but not order memory or temporal source memory. We also found that temporal source memory and contextual memory were correlated. Recognition accuracy and subjective recollection were not impacted by emotion. In agreement with previous work, participants self-reported a reduced ability to integrate blocks containing negative images with paragraphs. In contrast to our hypothesis, results suggest that emotion does not impact all types of associative memory when stimuli are controlled.



Associative memory, Emotion, Episodic memory, Temporal memory

Journal Title

Cogn Emot

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Informa UK Limited