Academic journal article Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience

Distinct Parietal Sites Mediate the Influences of Mood, Arousal, and Their Interaction on Human Recognition Memory

Academic journal article Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience

Distinct Parietal Sites Mediate the Influences of Mood, Arousal, and Their Interaction on Human Recognition Memory

Article excerpt

Published online: 7 March 2014

(Q> Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2014

Abstract The two dimensions of emotion, mood valence and arousal, have independent effects on recognition memory. At present, however, it is not clear how those effects are reflected in the human brain. Previous research in this area has gener- ally dealt with memory for emotionally valenced or arousing stimuli, but the manner in which interacting mood and arousal states modulate responses in memory substrates remains poor- ly understood. We investigated memory for emotionally neu- tral items while independently manipulating mood valence and arousal state by means ofmusic exposure. Four emotional conditions were created: positive mood/high arousal, positive mood/low arousal, negative mood/high arousal, and negative mood/low arousal. We observed distinct effects of mood valence and arousal in parietal substrates of recognition mem- ory. Positive mood increased activity in ventral posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and orbitofrontal cortex, whereas arousal condition modulated activity in dorsal PPC and the posterior cingulate. An interaction between valence and arousal was observed in left ventral PPC, notably in a parietal area distinct from the those identified for the main effects, with a stronger effect of mood on recognition memory responses here under conditions of relative high versus low arousal. We interpreted the PPC activations in terms of the attention-to-memory hy- pothesis: Increased arousal may lead to increased top-down control of memory, and hence dorsal PPC activation, whereas positive mood valence may result in increased activity in ventral PPC regions associated with bottom-up attention to memory. These findings indicate that distinct parietal sites mediate the influences of mood, arousal, and their interplay during recognition memory.

Keywords Emotion * Recollection * Parietal cortex * Prefrontal cortex

Emotional influences on memory are clearly demonstrable; most people will have experienced a "flashbulb" memory of a dramatic or highly emotional event, such as the birth of their first child or the events of September 11th, 2001. A variety of studies have demonstrated that memories for emotional events are more persistent and vivid than their neutral counterparts (Ochsner, 2000; Sharot & Yonelinas, 2008; Todd, Talmi, Schmitz, Susskind, & Anderson, 2012), suggesting that emo- tional aspects of stimuli influence memory encoding, and hence subsequent recollection.

Emotion may be measured both in terms of its valence (i.e., happy/sad) and the degree of physiological arousal elicited. Both of these dimensions appear to influence memory pro- cesses. For example, the degree of arousal associated with the to-be-remembered items appears to be critical for feature binding in working memory (Mather, 2007) and for long- term memory (Judde & Rickard, 2010), whereas mood va- lence has been shown to influence associative memory (Isen, Johnson, Mertz, & Robinson, 1985). Corson and Verrier (2007) reported that high levels of arousal induced prior to a recognition test increased the false alarm rates for novel stim- uli, though variations in mood valence had no effect. This evidence points to an effect of the emotional content and context of stimuli on the efficiency of memory encoding, and several imaging studies have examined the neural regions that mediate this process. For instance, the amygdala, medial temporal lobe, and prefrontal cortex have been shown to be involved in the successful encoding of emotional stimuli such as arousing pictures or scenes (Doleos, LaBar, & Cabeza, 2004; Kalpouzos, Fischer, Rieckmann, Macdonald, & Backman, 2012; Kensinger & Corkin, 2004; Mickley Steinmetz & Kensinger, 2009), and inferior frontal cortex has been implicated in enhanced retrieval of emotionally valenced autobiographical memories (Denkova, Doleos, & Doleos, 2013a). Memory for emotionally valenced but nonarousing stimuli have been shown to elicit activation in a network encompassing the hippocampus and prefrontal cor- tex, whereas improved memory for highly arousing stimuli is dependent on response in the hippocampus and amygdala (Kensinger & Corkin, 2004). …

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