Emotional Hangover Happens And It Can Affect Our Memory

Admin | Published 2016-12-27 04:34
A group of scientists from New York University confirms, emotional experiences can induce physiological and internal brain states that persist for long periods of time after the emotional events have ended. The study is published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, which also says that "emotional hangover" can affect how we recall experiences. Researchers learned that emotional experiences are better remembered than non-emotional ones. In the study, experts also discovered that non-emotional experiences followed by emotional ones were also better remembered, based on a memory test conducted for the study. "How we remember events is not just a consequence of the external world we experience, but is also strongly influenced by our internal states -- and these internal states can persist and color future experiences," explains Lila Davachi, an associate professor in NYU's Department of Psychology and Center for Neural Science and senior author of the study, with Science Daily. During the test, participants viewed images that aroused emotions, and ordinary images that are non-emotional. Brain activities were measured using fMRI during the test. Six hours later, a memory test was conducted. Results showed that the subjects who were exposed first to the emotion-evoking stimuli had better long-term recall of the neutral images subsequently presented compared to the group who were exposed to the same neutral images first, before the emotional images. The outcome of the tests showed that the brain has connections with emotional experiences. As well as, non-emotional experiences that happened after the emotional ones are better remembered. "We see that memory for non-emotional experiences is better if they are encountered after an emotional event," Davachi said in a university news release. "These findings make clear that our cognition [thinking] is highly influenced by preceding experiences and, specifically, that emotional brain states can persist for long periods of time," she concluded. This study, if true, can actually be turned into a life hack. If you want to remember something (such as, when studying for an exam), you may want to watch a depressing movie first, or break up with your partner, so you can recall better your past lectures. Or just study well, and be happy.
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