Memory and Emotion

Memory and Emotion

Memory and Emotion

Memory and Emotion

Synopsis

Understanding the interplay between memory and emotion is crucial for the work of researchers in many arenas - clinicians, psychologists interested in eyewitness testimony, psychobiologists, to name just a few. Memory and Emotion spans all these areas and brings them together into one volume. Daniel Reisberg and Paula Hertel have assembled contributions from the most visible and productive researchers working at the intersection of emotion and memory. The result is a sophisticated profile of our current understanding of how memory is shaped both by emotion and emotional disorder. The diverse list of topics includes the biology of traumatic memory, the memory disorders produced by depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia, the nature of emotional memory both in children and the elderly, and the collective memory processes at work in remembering the Holocaust. This unified collection of cutting-edge research will be an invaluable guide to scholars and students in many different research areas.

Excerpt

The study of the interplay between emotion and memory inevitably involves a mixing of perspectives. After all, the study of emotion is an important and sophisticated research enterprise in its own right, and so, too, is the study of memory. But, in addition, each of these topics in turn has been studied from multiple perspectives—the nature of emotion in normal populations and in pathological populations, in children, in adults, and in the elderly; the nature of the biological changes, and then the psychological and subjective changes, that accompany (and perhaps constitute) emotion; the range of emotions common in day-to-day life, and also the range of emotions one experiences only in extreme circumstances.

It should be obvious that each of these perspectives on emotion has its own value and asks questions that do not arise within these other contexts. But it should also be obvious that common themes—or points of dissonance—may emerge when we start putting these various perspectives side by side. Unfortunately, though, those common themes often do not come into view: After all, in our field research tends to be published in specialized venues, and so there is less cross-talk among related specialties than one might wish. It is precisely this situation that creates a need for volumes like this one.

In this volume, we have brought together some of the leading investigators in the broad area of emotion and memory, deliberately seeking to span as best we could the full range of approaches visible in the current scene. This juxtaposition should provide easy access to any reader, from any perspective, hoping to enter this broad research literature. In addition (and as we'd hoped), the juxtaposition highlighted a number of themes that cross research areas. For example, many authors have proposed that emotion promotes memory, so that materials one has experienced while emotional are better retained than materials experienced while one is calm. Indeed, some evidence suggests that emotional char-

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